By PAUL CHAVEZ
LOS ANGELES — The FBI is looking for a hacker who put thousands of stolen credit-card numbers on the Web after a $100,000 extortion demand was ignored, while quick thinking by a Tacoma company might have rescued some customers’ credit accounts.
More than 55,000 numbers were stolen from creditcards.com, which processes credit transactions for online companies. About 25,000 of them were posted online when the extortion payment was not made, creditcards.com spokesman Laurent Jean said Wednesday.
The Web site containing the numbers has since been taken down.
The hacker, who appeared to be from Russia, contacted creditcards.com about three months ago, the company said in an e-mail sent to its merchants on Monday. Creditcards.com said it responded by immediately adopting a policy of refusing to cooperate with hackers or meet extortion demands.
The company said it also hired security consultants to help improve its ability to protect data and is cooperating with authorities investigating the matter.
One of the company’s merchants, ihateshopping.net in Tacoma, said it was contacted by the hacker earlier this week and quickly downloaded all of the credit-card numbers provided.
The company has since created a page where potential victims can enter their name and address to determine if their credit card was compromised, said Harry Widdifield, owner of ihateshopping.net, an online shopping service.
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