Security

Poll: Is 25 years in prison too much, not enough, or just right for the TJX hacker?

U.S. Prosecutors will request a 25-year sentence for Albert Gonzalez--who pleaded guilty to stealing credit and debit card numbers. Is that too much?

Updated: U.S. District Judge Patti Saris sentenced Albert Gonzalez to 20 years in prison on Thursday. Gonzalez was also finned $25,000 (US), and will be required to pay restitution. A restitution amount was not set at sentencing, but according to Wired, it will likely be in the "tens of millions."

The AP reported Wednesday, that prosecutors will ask that Albert Gonzalez be sentenced to 25 years in prison for helping to "orchestrate on of the largest thefts of credit and debit card numbers in U.S. history."

Late last year, Gonzalez pleaded guilty to cases brought against him in Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. The 25-year sentence was the maximum amount under the terms of these plea agreements. According to the AP, Gonzalez's lawyer will request a sentence of no more than 15 years.

Need a little refresher on the cases against Gonzalez? Here's an excerpt from a September 2009 CNET News article on Gonzalez guilty plea in the TJX case:

"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."

More on the TJX breaches:

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Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

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