September 12th, 2009, 19:11 PM
Hacker pleads guilty to ID thefts netting millions
A 28-year-old Miami man who made millions breaking into computer networks and stealing credit card numbers pleaded guilty on Friday and agreed to forfeit more than $2.7 million in restitution, as well as a condo, jewelry, and a car.
Albert Gonzalez, a former federal government informant and the alleged ringleader of one of the largest known identity theft cases in U.S. history, pleaded guilty (as expected) to 19 counts of conspiracy, computer fraud, wire fraud, access device fraud, and aggravated identity theft related to theft of credit and debit card data from TJX Companies (owner of T.J. Maxx), BJ's Wholesale Club, OfficeMax, Boston Market, Barnes & Noble, Sports Authority, among other retailers.
Gonzalez, along with 10 others from the U.S., Eastern Europe, and China, were accused in August 2008 of breaking into retail credit card payment systems using wardriving (searching for unsecured wireless networks while driving by with a laptop), and installing sniffer programs to capture data.
He also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud related to hacks into the network of the Dave & Buster's restaurant chain. He was indicted on that charge in New York in May 2008.
Full story: c|net