Gonzalez Gets 20 Years in Hacker Case
Hacker Albert Gonzalez is sentenced to 20 years in prison for his role in hacking TJX, Barnes & Noble, OfficeMax and other retailers. He faces the possibility of more time behind bars when he is sentenced for his role in hacking a slew of other companies, including Heartland Payment Systems.The mastermind behind some of the most high-profile data breaches in recent history was sentenced on March 25 to 20 years in prison. Albert Gonzalez, 28, pleaded guilty in 2009 to charges in Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey and faced as many as 25 years behind bars for hacking several major retailers, including BJ's Wholesale Club, TJX Companies and OfficeMax. Gonzalez still faces sentencing tomorrow for involvement in a slew of other breaches, including the compromise of millions of credit cards in the Heartland Payment Systems breach.
The sentence is the longest ever imposed in a hacking or identity theft case. Gonzalez's lawyer reportedly argued for leniency, stating that Gonzalez exhibited behavior consistent with Asperger's Syndrome. Prosecutors meanwhile sought a 25-year sentence on the grounds that Gonzalez's crew "shook a portion of our financial system" and a stiff sentence would serve as a deterrent.