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    Young hacker gets 20 years in prison

    Date: 04.07.10 | by Judge Tom.

    When Albert Gonzalez was a child, he became addicted to computers. That addiction, combined with alcohol and drug use as he got older, led to Albert’s participation in a ring of computer hackers. Over a few years, he engineered one of the largest thefts of credit and debit card numbers in American history. He was first arrested when he was 21 and agreed to become an informant for the government regarding other hackers’ activities.

    Albert Gonzalez

    Theft of the estimated 40 million card numbers resulted in $200 million in damages to retailers including Barnes and Noble, Office-Max, 7-Eleven and a chain of grocery stores. The self-taught computer expert would drive past stores and tap into their wireless Internet signals. He would steal the card numbers and sell them overseas.

    On March 25, 2010,  Albert, at age 28, was sentenced in a Boston court to 20 years in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release and a $25,000 fine. “What matters most is that teenagers and young adults not look up to Albert Gonzalez. They need to know that they will be caught. That they will be punished and that the punishment will be severe,” stated the prosecutor on the case.

    For an extreme case of Internet addiction and tragic consequences, see:  http://askthejudge.info/teen-myspace-killer-gets-20-years/2562/

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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