TJX hacker gets 20-year jail sentence

The mastermind hacker behind the TJX and Hannaford data breaches has been sentenced to 20 years in jail.

Convicted cyber-criminal Albert Gonzalez, the mastermind hacker behind the TJX and Hannaford data breaches, was today sentenced to 20 years in jail.

According to Wired's Kim Zetter, the sentence relates to hacks into TJX, Office Max, Dave & Busters restaurant chain, Barnes & Noble and a string of other companies.  He still faces sentencing in the Hannaford case.

Gonzalez, 28, who dubbed his criminal enterprise “Operation Get Rich or Die Tryin’,” argued in court filings 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.

The government claimed in its sentencing memo that companies, banks and insurers lost close to $200 million, and that Gonzalez’s credit and debit card thefts “victimized a group of people whose population exceeded that of many major cities and some states.”

Gonzalez’s crimes were committed mostly between 2005 and 2008 while he was drawing a $75,000 salary working for the U.S. Secret Service as a paid undercover informant.

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