Gonzalez sentenced to 20 years for Heartland break-in
Update: Term to run concurrently with 20-year terms from two other cases Thursday
Computerworld - Hacker Albert Gonzalez, who participated in a cybercrime ring that stole tens of millions of credit and debit card numbers, was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court to 20 years in prison.
The sentence, imposed by U.S. District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock, was for Gonzalez's role in a hacking ring that broke into computer networks of Heartland Payment Systems, which processed credit and debit card transactions for Visa and American Express, Hannaford Supermarkets and 7-Eleven.
The sentence is actually 20 years and one day, owing to the need to deal with peculiarities in sentencing statutes, because Woodlock had to take into account that Gonzalez was on pretrial release for an unrelated crime when he took up with the international network of hackers responsible for the security breaches.
He was at the time supposed to be serving as an informant for the U.S. Secret Service, but he double-crossed the agency, supplying a co-conspirator with information obtained as part of those investigations.
"I am guilty of these crimes ... I accept full responsibility for these actions," Gonzalez said at the sentencing, reiterating what he said Thursday about "exploiting" his relationship with a government agency, though he did not name it.
He also referred to the "dishonor" he brought to his parents and their home, where he buried more than $1 million in the backyard. He forfeited that money, as well as other goods, when he was arrested.
"I plead for leniency," he said. "I understand that the road to redemption is going to be long for me," adding that it was his hope, however, that he would be able to be on that road someday.
The sentence will run concurrently with two other 20-year concurrent sentences meted out Thursday, also in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, by a different federal judge, Patti B. Saris.
Gonzalez pleaded guilty in all three cases last December, with the U.S. Department of Justice agreeing to seek no more than 25 years in prison in each case, all to run concurrently.
Gonzalez, 28, was living in Miami at the time of the crimes in the three cases, which occurred over almost two years before he was arrested in May of 2008 and subsequently indicted in New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts, with the cases eventually being moved to the same federal court jurisdiction.
Besides the companies targeted in the case heard Friday, a ring that Gonzalez led hacked into computer networks of major retailers including TJX, DSW, Barnes & Noble, Office Max and Dave & Buster's.
- University of North Florida breach exposes data on 107,000 individuals
- Zeus Trojan bust reveals sophisticated 'money mules' operation in U.S.
- GAO slams White House for failing to lead on cybersecurity
- Man charged with attack on Web site of Fox News' Bill O'Reilly
- Heartland breach expenses pegged at $140M -- so far
- IT contractor gets five years for $2M credit union theft
- Democracy would suffer if Google left China, says MIT panel
- Gonzalez accomplice gets five years for hacking TJX
- Threat of cyberattacks from overseas high, federal IT execs say
- Botnets 'the Swiss Army knife of attack tools'
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- 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...
Red Hat Enterprise Linux - The Original Cloud Operating System
Linux adoption is growing against a number of measures, such as the
number of supercomputers that run Linux and the size of the contributing...
- OpenStack Hype vs. Reality: CIO Quick Pulse Open-source architecture can enable IT departments to build infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds running on standard hardware.
- Building a Bridge to the Next Generation Data Center Selecting a widely adopted operating system is a foundational component of a standardization strategy.
- Webinar: Building a Big Data solution that's production-ready Big data solutions are no longer just a nice-to-have.
- 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... All Cybercrime and Hacking White Papers | Webcasts