Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Attacks/Breaches

Gonzalez Pleads Guilty To Hack Of Heartland, Hannaford, 7-Eleven

Guilty plea reveals Target was also victim of massive hacking ring

Albert Gonzalez, who in September admitted to hacking computers at TJX Co., BJ's Wholesale Club, and Barnes & Noble, Tuesday pleaded guilty to stealing data from Heartland Payment Systems, Hannaford Brothers, 7-Eleven, and Target Co.

According to a Reuters news report, Gonzalez faces 17 to 25 years in jail as a result of his plea. Sentencing is due to take place in March.

The hacks of Heartland and TJX alone compromised more than 220 million customer credit card records, according to industry statistics, making them the two largest known breaches in Internet history.

While the breaches at Heartland, Hannaford, and 7-Eleven were well-publicized, the data loss at Target had not been previously revealed. Target spokeswoman Amy Reilly told Reuters that her company had an "extremely limited" number of payment card numbers stolen by Gonzalez about two years ago.

She declined to tell Reuters how many card numbers had been stolen, and described the term of the exposure as brief. "We believe that, at most, only a tiny fraction of guest credit and debit card data used at our stores may have been involved," she said.

Reilly told Reuters that Target had notified the card issuers about the breach, leaving them to tell their customers.

In his plea, Gonzalez told the judge he had abused many forms of drugs and alcohol. His lawyers argued that substance abuse was part of the reason for his actions, according to the news report. A psychiatrist hired by Gonzalez also stated he has symptoms consistent with Asperger's syndrome, the same defense used by accused mega-hacker Gary McKinnon in the U.K.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
97% of Americans Can't Ace a Basic Security Test
Steve Zurier, Contributing Writer,  5/20/2019
How a Manufacturing Firm Recovered from a Devastating Ransomware Attack
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  5/20/2019
Why AI Will Create Far More Jobs Than It Replaces
John DiLullo, CEO, Lastline,  5/14/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Talk about vendor lock in...
Current Issue
Building and Managing an IT Security Operations Program
As cyber threats grow, many organizations are building security operations centers (SOCs) to improve their defenses. In this Tech Digest you will learn tips on how to get the most out of a SOC in your organization - and what to do if you can't afford to build one.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-11816
PUBLISHED: 2019-05-20
Incorrect access control in the WebUI in OPNsense before version 19.1.8, and pfsense before 2.4.4-p3 allows remote authenticated users to escalate privileges to administrator via a specially crafted request.
CVE-2019-10076
PUBLISHED: 2019-05-20
A carefully crafted malicious attachment could trigger an XSS vulnerability on Apache JSPWiki 2.9.0 to 2.11.0.M3, which could lead to session hijacking.
CVE-2019-10077
PUBLISHED: 2019-05-20
A carefully crafted InterWiki link could trigger an XSS vulnerability on Apache JSPWiki 2.9.0 to 2.11.0.M3, which could lead to session hijacking.
CVE-2019-10078
PUBLISHED: 2019-05-20
A carefully crafted plugin link invocation could trigger an XSS vulnerability on Apache JSPWiki 2.9.0 to 2.11.0.M3, which could lead to session hijacking. Initial reporting indicated ReferredPagesPlugin, but further analysis showed that multiple plugins were vulnerable.
CVE-2019-12239
PUBLISHED: 2019-05-20
The WP Booking System plugin 1.5.1 for WordPress has no CSRF protection, which allows attackers to reach certain SQL injection issues that require administrative access.