Gonzalez sentenced to 20 years for TJX hack

Albert Gonzalez was sentenced today to 20 years in prison for the TJX hack and breaches involving retailers, a new record in sentencing for hacking.* He faced up to 25 years. He has yet to be sentenced in the Heartland Payment Systems breach, but that sentencing is expected tomorrow, and the sentences are expected to run concurrently under a plea agreement struck between the defense and prosecutors.

Kim Zetter reports:

The sentence for the largest and costliest computer-crime case ever prosecuted is the longest ever imposed in a hacking or identity-theft case. And it is among the longest imposed for a financial crime. It beats out a sentence recently imposed on hacker Max Ray Vision, who received 13 years in prison for similar crimes and was ordered to pay $27.5 million in restitution.

Gonzalez, 28, who dubbed his criminal enterprise “Operation Get Rich or Die Tryin’,” argued in court that his only motive was technical curiosity and an obsession with conquering computer networks. But chat logs the government obtained showed Gonzalez confiding in one of his accomplices that his goal was to earn $15 million from his schemes, buy a yacht and then retire.

Read more on Threat Level.

*So far, the record I’ve seen for sentencing in cases involving ID theft is the 309 year sentence handed out to Robert Thompson.

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