Hacker sentenced to 20-years

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./

William Saito
Special Advisor at Cabinet Office (Govt. of Japan)
Named by Nikkei as one of the “100 Most Influential People for Japan,” Saito began software programming in elementary school and started his own company while still in high school and was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 1998 (by Ernst & Young, NASDAQ and USA Today). As one of the world’s leading authorities on cybersecurity.

After selling his business to Microsoft, he moved to Tokyo in 2005 and founded InTecur, a venture capital firm. In 2011, he served as the Chief Technology Officer of the National Diet’s (Parliament) Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission. Later that year, he was named as both a Young Global Leader and Global Agenda Council member for World Economic Forum (WEF) and subsequently been named to its Foundation Board. In 2012, Saito was appointed to a council on national strategy and policy that reported directly to the Prime Minister of Japan.

Saito also advises several national governments around the globe. In Japan, he has served as an advisor to Japanese ministries; the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science; the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST); the Information Technology Promotion Agency (IPAS); the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, among others. He is currently the Special Advisor to the Ministry of Economic Trade and Industry (METI) and the Cabinet Office for the Government of Japan.

He went to medical school at UCLA and Harvard Kennedy School; serves on various boards of Global 2000 companies; frequently appears as a commentator on TV and is the author of seven books in addition to writing several weekly newspaper columns. His management book, The Team: Solving the Biggest Problem in Japan, was published by Nikkei BP and became a best-seller in 2012. In 2016, Saito received the Medal of Honor from the Government of Japan for his work in the field of education.

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