Twenty-year prison sentence in TJX hacking case

Albert Gonzalez receives stiff sentence for hacking into TJX and other retailers and stealing millions of credit and debit cards

A Miami-based hacker was sentenced Thursday to 20 years in prison for his role in the theft and sale of millions of credit and debit cards from TJX Companies Inc. and other retailers.

Albert Gonzalez, 28, was sentenced in federal court in Boston for scheming with others to steal the cards by wardriving and hacking into the wireless networks of stores owned by TJX, OfficeMax Inc., Barnes & Noble Inc., and others. In the TJX case, at least 45.7 million customer's credit and debit card data was stolen.

Gonzalez is scheduled to be sentenced Friday on charges related to hacking into networks operated by Heartland Payment Systems Inc., Hannaford Brothers Co., and other retailers, and stealing tens of millions of credit and debit cards.

"The Gonzalez sentence sends a clear message to career criminals and organized crime outfits," said Michael Maloof, CTO at TriGeo Network Security Inc. "If you use a computer to steal or provide tools that encourage others to steal, you will go to jail -- hopefully, for a very, very long time."

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