Infamous Hacker Once Buried $1M in Backyard, Now Gets 20 Years

by admin March 27, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Crime doesn’t pay in the end

Albert Gonzalez aka “soupnazi” was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Patti Saris to 20 years in prison for his role as a ringleader of an international group of hackers. The sentence is the longest cybercrime sentence in U.S. history.

Gonzalez and his colleagues infiltrated corporate networks to obtain 40 million payment card numbers. The group’s targets include TJX Cos Inc, BJ’s Wholesale Club Inc, and Barnes & Noble. They used these cards to score millions in cash. It is estimated that they caused $200M USD in financial damages worldwide.

Now 28 years old, Gonzalez was troubled since childhood. He suffered from Asperger’s disorder, a form of autism. He abused drugs and alcohol during his time growing up in the Miami area. He started college after graduating from high school, but end up dropping out.

All this time he was feeding his biggest addiction — computer crime. Describes Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Heymann, “They would quite literally go to ATMS and take out bundles of money from victims’ accounts.”

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