The attacks started in December 2013 with US retailer Target. Throughout 2014 other stores, including Home Depot, Staples, Sears, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom to name but a few, all fell victim to the till-tapping gangs.
As well as liberating tens of millions of credit card numbers, the attacks cost some senior executives their jobs and left those that were hit with a bill that often ran into the tens of millions of dollars to clean up. Home Depot said the bill for clearing up after its breach would hit $43m (£28m).
There were so many attacks that the FBI issued a three-page confidential warning to American retailers telling them to watch out for malicious programs aimed at them.
The key word in that last sentence is “American”. Almost all the big thefts of customer data were from large US stores.