[ISN] Unprecedented 25-Year Sentence Sought for TJX Hacker

From: InfoSec News <alerts_at_private>
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 2010 00:01:23 -0600 (CST)

By Kevin Poulsen  
Threat Level
March 19, 2010

Computer hacker Albert Gonzalez deserves a quarter-century behind bars 
for leading a gang of cyberthieves who stole tens of millions of credit 
and debit card numbers from a transaction processor and several giant 
retail chains, federal prosecutors argued in a court filing Thursday 

"[T]he sentences would be the longest ever imposed in an identity theft 
case and among the longest imposed for a financial crime, which is 
appropriate because Gonzalez was at the center of the largest and most 
costly series of identity thefts in the nation's history," wrote 
Boston-based Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Heymann. "He knowingly 
victimized a group of people whose population exceeded that of many 
major cities and some states."

The government also disputed a defense claim that Gonzalez suffers from 
Asperger's disorder, a mild form of autism that was grounds for a 
slightly reduced sentence in a previous hacking prosecution.

Gonzalez, 28, is set for sentencing next week on three indictments 
covering virtually every headline-making bank-card theft in recent 
years, including intrusions at TJX, DSW Shoe Warehouse, Office Max, 
Hannaford Brothers, 7-Eleven, and Heartland Payment Systems, which alone 
exposed magstripe data on 130 million credit and debit cards. He 
performed the intrusions while an informant for the Secret Service.


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Received on Sun Mar 21 2010 - 23:01:23 PDT

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