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Heartland Identity Theft Information: Gonzalez Gets 17-25 Year

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Albert Gonzalez, the Miami hacker who creeped into the systems of Heartland Payment Systems, TJ Maxx and 7-Eleven plead guilty last week to the cyber crimes that stole over 130 million debit and credit card records. He previously plead guilty in September in a separate case where he stole 40 million credit and debit card information. In the latest case he could now serve no less than 17, but no more than 25 years for the theft of payment card details from the compromised systems. Not too tough a sentence for someone who stole from over 170 million of us!

Gonzalez’s attorney claimed a mix of Internet Addiction, Asperger’s Syndrome and alcohol abuse for this identity information theft. Although, when he plead guilty in September, Gonzalez admitted he led an international ring that stole credit and debit card records from U.S. retailers including Naperville-based OfficeMax Inc. and BJ’s Wholesale Club Inc. The question still remains if those that worked with him will even be found, let alone prosecuted. The light punishment doesn’t seem to fit the extensive ring of information theft and identity crimes that Gonzales committed.

Cases like these make me wonder what it would take for a white-collar criminal to get a life sentence for such a crime?

John Sileo became America’s leading Identity Theft Speaker & Expert after he lost his business and more than $300,000 to identity theft and data breach. His clients include the Department of Defense, Pfizer and the FDIC.  To learn more about having him speak at your next meeting or conference, contact him by email or on 800.258.8076.

Operation Get Rich or Die Tryin' Still Lives

albert-gonzalez

Albert "Segvec" Gonzalez

Operation Get Rich or Die Tryin is the name that Albert Gonzalez gave to his scheme of stealing more than 130 million credit and debit card numbers from you and me. Today, Gonzalez, along with two unnamed Russian conspirators, was indicted in the state of New Jersey. Gonzalez, known by his alias of Segvec, was part of a cyber-crime ring that hacked into the computer systems of at least five major companies, including Heartland Payment Systems, 7-Eleven, TJMAXX, Hannaford Bros. Super Markets and Dave & Busters.

This is likely the largest case of identity theft ever prosecuted, comprising more that 130 million card numbers

Tactics: Gonzalez and his conspirators reviewed Fortune 500 Companies, performed reconnaissance on their retail stores, determined weaknesses in their payment systems and then utilized malware (malicious software) to intercept credit card numbers, expiration dates and names as they were transmitted from company to company

The crimes occurred between 2006-2008

In the strangest twist, it turns out that Albert Gonzalez was an informant for the Secret Service… on a card theft case. He took part in an undercover operation dubbed “Operation Firewall” that netted the arrest of 28 criminals (excluding himself) in 2004. After the operation was completed, Gonzalez took on the nick (nickname) of Segvec, moved to Miami, and took up his criminal ways once again.

Lesson #1: IDENTITY THEFT IS TOO EASY and too profitable to give up. Lesson #2: The Secret Service just got socially engineered! They allowed an enemy inside the gates and gave him intimate knowledge of an operation that taught him how to up the stakes and go undetected for years.

His Russian counterparts will likely never be caught or prosecuted, and will make use of everything they have learned from the latest indictments. Somewhere in the case, there is a weakness they will exploit. Operation Get Rich or Die Tryin isn’t exactly dead.

John Sileo became America’s leading Identity Theft Speaker & Expert after he lost his business and more than $300,000 to identity theft and data breach. His clients include the Department of Defense, Pfizer and the FDIC. To further bulletproof yourself and your business, learn more about John Sileo.