Feeds

NY man charged with boosting TJX credit hijack

Alleged sniffer mods

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.