Feeds

NY man charged with boosting TJX credit hijack

Alleged sniffer mods

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
JLaw, Kate Upton exposed in celeb nude pics hack
100 women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.