Miami Beach, Florida has enamored lots of people with its sublime beaches and luxury hotels: locals, tourists and er..criminals.
On May 7 of last year, Albert Gonzales or “soupnazi” was arrested while staying at the National Hotel on South Beach. Feds were able to seize two computers, a gun and $22,000 in cash. He was charged with credit and debit card accounts theft as well as hacking into business computer networks.
Last week, he was indicted in New Jersey on more federal charges, with his hacks totaling to 170 million accounts – the biggest of the decade.
Gonzales, 28, is not a newbie when it comes to arrests. He was first arrested for hacking in 1998 and a year after, was charged for marijuana possession. In 2003, he had his first federal arrest for hacking. By acting as an informant to the U.S. Secret Service however, he managed to escape from being charged. He helped them hunt other hackers.
But I guess leopards really cannot change its spots because over the next five years after his 2003 arrest, he continued to hack into computer systems of Fortune 500 companies and national restaurant chain Dave & Buster’s.
It was around 2005 when Gonzales and others devised a hack that could steal credit and debit card data and send them to remote computer servers. The feds said the hackers were able to steal approximately 40 million credit card numbers – the biggest theft at that time.
If convicted, Gonzales will be facing a lifetime imprisonment and nope, he couldn’t use a computer there I guess. 😉