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From: security curmudgeon (jerichoattrition.org)
Date: Mon Dec 21 2009 - 14:32:46 CST
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From: InfoSec News <alertsinfosecnews.org>
By Kim Zetter
December 18, 2009
Confessed hacker Albert Gonzalez's turn as a Secret Service informant led
him down a dark path of obsession, culminating in the largest
identity-theft spree in history.
Frances Gonzalez Lago, Gonzalez’s sister, wrote his sentencing judge
that her brother’s work as an informant for the agency between 2003 and
and 2008 seemed to act as a reward for his obsession with computers. "All
this seemed okay at the time, but psychologically it was feeding an
obsession that in the end would become my brother’s downfall," she told
The information appears in a 24-page sentencing memo originally filed
Tuesday by Gonzalez’s attorney, Martin Weinberg, before it was sealed,
along with several exhibits. The memo was unsealed on Friday, with several
pages redacted. Threat Level disclosed on Tuesday the information that was
revealed in the redacted pages.
Weinberg is appealing to the court to sentence the 28-year-old hacker to
15 years. Gonzalez has pleaded guilty to hacking into TJX, Dave & Busters
restaurant chain and numerous other businesses. He faces a possible
sentence of between 15 and 25 years under the terms of his plea agreement.
The sentencing memo depicts Gonzalez as an obsessive personality who
derived his sense of worth from his computer skills and couldn’t seem to
distinguish himself from his PC. When Gonzalez’s computer was infected
with a virus, Weinberg writes in the memo, he "referred to the event as if
it were he, himself, who had gotten the virus."
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