Feeds

NY man charged with boosting TJX credit hijack

Alleged sniffer mods

Remote control for virtualized desktops

A New York man has been charged with aiding the alleged leader of the hacking gang accused of stealing more than 40 million credit and debit card numbers from stores owned by TJX Companies and other companies.

Federal prosecutors in Boston accused Stephen Watt, 25, of modifying a sniffer program for Albert Gonzalez, who was indicted earlier this year as the ring leader of a group that broke into networks used by TJ Maxx, BJ's Wholesale Club, OfficeMax, Barnes & Noble, Sports Authority, Forever 21, and DSW. As recently as January, Watt "edited the 'blabla' sniffer utilized by the conspirators" and was stored on a server in Latvia, federal charging papers allege.

Watt is charged with a single count of conspiracy and faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.

Gonzalez, who has pleaded not guilty, had already been arrested in 2003 for access device fraud in 2003. During the more recent investigation, Gonzalez was working as a confidential informant for the Secret Service, but federal officials say they were unaware he was criminally involved in the case.

According to prosecutors, Gonzalez oversaw a criminal enterprise that carried out some of the biggest identity thefts in US history. Breaches into TJ Maxx and other stores owned by TJX are believed to have netted personal information belonging to more than 45 million people.

The group preyed off of stores that used insecure wireless networks to zap customer's personal information to credit card processors. The gang allegedly stored stolen information on encrypted servers in eastern Europe and the US. They converted the data to cash by creating counterfeit credit and debit cards with the information and using the cards to withdraw "tens of thousands of dollars at a time from ATMs," and and by selling some of the account details to others, prosecutors have alleged.

The charging of Watt comes about six weeks after Damon Patrick Toey of Miami pleaded guilty to his involvement in the criminal conspiracy and agreed to testify against the other defendants in the case. A few weeks later, a second co-defendant, Christopher Scott, 25, of Miami, also pleaded guilty. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Why did it take antivirus giants YEARS to drill into super-scary Regin? Symantec responds...
FYI this isn't just going to target Windows, Linux and OS X fans
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Home Office: Fancy flogging us some SECRET SPY GEAR?
If you do, tell NOBODY what it's for or how it works
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
Syrian Electronic Army in news site 'hack' POP-UP MAYHEM
Gigya redirect exploit blamed for pop-rageous ploy
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.