It used to be that when a hacker stole money from a bank via the internet and got caught, the sentence was a lot less than a robber going into a physical bank and holding it up.  The sentencing of computer hackers have finally caught up with the modern era.

As I have mentioned in a recent blog, online thefts have doubled in the last year to over half-a-billion dollars.  During the same period, bank robberies (the physical kind) only took in $9.5 million or about 1/50th.  However, the sentencing for hackers (considered a white-collar crime) was only a few years (if any) while bank robbers usually got over five.  Granted, many bank robbers used guns (but I assume you kind of have to) so the sentencing guidelines change accordingly.  However, the average take from these robberies is “only” around $5,000.

In the case of the hacker in question, Mr. Albert Gonzalez (28 years old), the scale was something else.  Apparently, he stole over 90 million credit card numbers equaling over 80 gigabytes of data.  The main victim, TJX, apparently suffered close to $200 million in damages.  For this, Mr. Gonzalez will now spend 20 years in jail.  A good article on the complicated case can be found at Wired.

For more entries on security, I have created a new blog section at: http://security./