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U.S. Hacker Sentenced to 20 Years

U.S. hacker Albert Gonzales was convicted of three counts of computer fraud and will serve 20 years in prison.  Gonzales was a part of a trio of hackers who stole more than 130 million credit and debit card numbers by hacking into retailers’ payment systems and payment processing services.  One judge referred to the attack as “. . . the largest and most costly example of computer hacking in US history.”

Gonzales was initially accused last August along with two Russian co-conspirators.  As part of his plea agreement, Gonzales turned over over $1 million in cash, a condo in Miami, a car, a diamond ring, and several high-end watches.  Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer of the Department of Justice noted that these types of attacks are attempted on a daily basis by cyber criminals, and the credit card numbers of unsuspecting American consumers are the likely targets.  As such, Bruer stated that “[t]hese sentences – some of the longest ever imposed for hacking crimes – send a powerful message to hackers around the globe that U.S. law enforcement will not allow [hackers] to breach American computer networks and payment systems, or illegally obtain identities.” Read more here.

The frequency and complexity of hacking crime rings and identity theft has increase over the last 12 months.  For a similar story from late 2009 click here.


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