Former Morgan Stanley Coder Gets 2 Years in Prison for TJX Hack
Kim Zetter writes on Threat Level:
The two great friends talked every day and shared information about all of their exploits — sexual, narcotic and hacking — according to prosecutors. Now another thing they’ll have to share information about is their experience in federal prison.More here.
While accused TJX hacker kingpin Albert Gonzalez awaits a possible sentence of 17 years or more in prison, one of his best friends and accomplices was sentenced on Tuesday in Boston to two years for his role in what the feds are calling “the largest identity theft in our nation’s history.”
Stephen Watt, a 25-year-old former Morgan Stanley software engineer, pleaded guilty last December to creating a custom sniffing program dubbed “blabla” that Gonzalez and other hackers used to siphon millions of credit and debit card numbers from TJX’s network. The breach cost TJX $200 million, according to its 2009 SEC filing.
Watt’s lawyer had sought a sentence of probation.
But instead the 7-foot-tall coder who once had a bright professional future got two years in federal prison and three years of probation. A spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Massachusetts said the judge also ordered Watt to pay restitution to TJX in the amount of $171.5 million.