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Hacker could get up to 25 years

Longest possible sentence for cyberthief
Mon Mar 22 2010, 16:52

US HACKER Albert Gonzalez could receive the longest ever sentence to date for a cyber crime.

According to Wired, Gonzalez is thought to have stolen from nearly every US retail chain known to man and ripped off up to ten per cent of the US adult population with tens of millions in credit and debit card fraud.

It took Gonzalez two years to get an accomplice on board to decrypt 11 million PIN codes he had accumulated.

The hacker was against the wall of federal prosecutors last Thursday and is due to be sentenced this week on three indictments. He could be jailed for between 17 and 25 years, making it the longest sentence for a cybertheft so far.

What's particularly galling for the government is that he was working as an informant for the secret service at the time. He helped the secret service secure a nine year conviction for Michigan hacker Brian Salcedo in 2003.

Like UK hackizen, Gary McKinnon, Gonzalez's defence case rests on Aspergers. His team stated he was "driven by a psychological obsession with computers."

McKinnon's team put forward a similar Asperger's defence in 2009, which could see McKinnon through to the European Court of Human Rights to fight his US extradition.µ


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