Man accused in TJX data breach pleads guilty
Damon Patrick Toey is one of 11 people arrested in the massive breach
Computerworld - One of the 11 people arrested last month in connection with the massive data theft at TJX Companies Inc., BJ Wholesale Clubs Inc. and several other retailers pleaded guilty yesterday to four felony counts, including wire and credit card fraud and aggravated identity theft.
Damon Patrick Toey is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 10 in U.S. District Court in Boston. He faces a maximum prison term of five years and a fine of $250,000 on each of the counts. In addition, under the terms of the plea agreement, Toey has to forfeit all of the money he earned for his role in the data theft. It is not clear how much he may have made from the attacks, although he had about $9,500 in his possession when he was arrested in May.
Toey was one of 11 alleged hackers arrested last month in connection with a series of data thefts and attempted data thefts at TJX and numerous other companies. Besides TJX and BJ's, the list of publicly identified victims of the hackers includes DSW, OfficeMax, Boston Market, Barnes and Noble, Sports Authority and Forever 21.
In a court filing yesterday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Heymann said that there is "forensic and/or testimonial evidence" that Toey and his co-conspirators broke into "numerous" other businesses that have not been publicly identified. Heymann said he would be willing to submit the full list "in camera" to the court if needed.
The ID theft ring stole data involving more than 45 million payment cards, leaving 100 or so financial institutions vulnerable to losses from fraud, Heymann said.
The breach was made public in January 2007 by Framingham, Mass.-based TJX, which later reported in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that 45.6 million credit card numbers were affected -- the largest such breach on record.
The alleged thefts by Toey and his companions occurred over a five-year period, from 2003 to 2008, and were largely perpetrated -- at least, initially -- by taking advantage of vulnerabilities in the wireless networks used at retail store locations. Around mid-2007, the group, largely with the help of Toey, started launching online attacks on Web servers and databases handling payment card data. Accused gang leader Albert Gonzalez allegedly invited Toey to move into his condominium in Miami, where he stayed for free and received periodic payments in return for collaborating on the Internet-base attacks.
Many of the Internet attacks that Toey facilitated were SQL injection attacks, according to court documents.
The documents described Gonzalez, Toey and others as going "war-driving" in commercial areas of Miami looking for vulnerable retail networks they could attack. Once they broke into a network, they would locate and steal "Track 2" data from the magnetic stripe on the back of payment cards as well as PIN-block data associated with debit cards.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Who's Spying on You? You're aware of the threats of malware to your business but what about the ever-changing ground rules? Cybercriminals today are launching attacks against...
- Pay-as-you-Grow Data Protection: IBM Tivoli's Full-featured Data Protection Suite for Small to Medium Businesses IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery gives small and medium businesses the opportunity to start out with only the individual solutions...
- Streamline Data Protection with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Operations Center IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) has been an industry-standard data protection solution for two decades. But, where most competitors focus exclusively on Backup...
- Simplify and Consolidate Data Protection for Better Business Results Learn about IBM® Tivoli® Storage Manager Operations Center, which provides advanced visualization, built-in analytics and integrated workflow automation features that leapfrog traditional backup...
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,... All Cybercrime and Hacking White Papers | Webcasts