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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  1. Golde - March 25, 2010

    This makes me want to p%#*k. With time served, good behavior, and plea bargaining- he’ll be out in 10-12 years. And still be hacking via his co-hoerts while in prison. If ANYONE thinks prison will stop this man or any other hacker, they need to pull their heads out of the sand. Cybercrime is the smart way to steal and thieves are moving toward it like moths to a light. Why steal my credit card when I can takeover a commercial account online that has $500,000 in operating money in the bank. WAKE UP. This is the tip of the digital age and the tip of the crime. The thieves has just started to build their malicious attack skill set. In five years, no one will be safe UNLESS we get smart now and work to stop them. ENCRYPTION- ever heard about it? Tiered permissions- ever set it up on a business computer? Why do they not protect our information like their precious work product that is not yet patented? Cause we are just little folks. OPEN YOUR MOUTH- remember Network? WE AREN”T GOING TO TAKE IT ANY MORE? STOP ASKING FOR THE SSN IF YOU AREN”T GOING TO PROTECT IT. These card payment services got a slap on the wrist. All are back in business. If you screwed up that bad, would you even still have a job much less be entrusted with the same valued information? It just goes to show- thieves think smart, we are in elementary school, out for recess, compared to them.

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