TJX Hacker Receives 20 Years for Credit Card Thefts

Lora Bentley

Albert Gonzales, who pleaded guilty last year to charges arising from data breaches at TJX, Hannaford Bros., Heartland Payment Systems, and Dave & Buster's, among others, was sentenced in Boston on Thursday to two concurrent 20-year terms for the TJX and Dave & Buster's cases. reports:

During his years of crime, authorities said Gonzalez amassed $2.8 million... [H]e and two foreign co-defendants would drive past retailers along U.S. 1 in Miami with a laptop computer, tapping into those with vulnerable wireless Internet signals. They would then install "sniffer programs'' that picked off credit and debit card numbers as they moved through a retailer's computers before trying to sell the numbers overseas.

Former federal prosecutor Mark Rasch said the sentence is "the harshest ever handed down for a computer crime" in the United States. Gonzales faces sentencing in a different federal court Friday for the Hannaford Bros. and Heartland cases.

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