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January 2022


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Tag: Albert Gonzalez

Secret Service Paid Big-Time Hacker $75,000 a Year As Informant, Website Reports

cash2By Allan Lengel

The Secret Service was paying big-time hacker Albert Gonzalez $75,000 a year as an informant before he was arrested in 2008 for operating a multi-million dollar credit and debit card hacking operation, the website WIRED reported.

WIRED attributed the information to Gonzalez’s best friend and convicted accomplice Stephen Watt. Gonzalez is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday in Boston.

The website said “Watt pleaded guilty last year to creating a sniffer program that Gonzalez used to siphon millions of credit and debit card numbers from the TJX corporate network while he was working undercover for the government.”

The Secret Service declined comment, WIRED reported.

“It’s a significant amount of money to pay an informant but it’s not an outrageous amount to pay if the guy was working full time and delivering good results,” former federal prosecutor Mark Rasch told WIRED. “It’s probably the only thing he was doing — other than hacking into TJX and making millions of dollars.”

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World Class Hacker Who Lived Playboy Life is Subdued During Guilty Plea in Boston

seven eleven logo
By Allan Lengel

World class computer hacker Albert Gonzalez, who tapped into the credit card information of some of America’s biggest corporations like 7-Eleven, looked pretty subdued in federal court on Tuesday when he pleaded guilty, a sharp contrast to his everyday persona as a major thief.

The Boston Globe reports that Gonzalez, who is accused of being part of “one of the largest cyber-crime rings in US history, allegedly lived a playboy lifestyle out of “Miami Vice.”

“He sported a mane of black hair, lived in Miami, drove a blue BMW 330I, once threw a $75,000 birthday party for himself, and was often high on cocaine and other drugs. He dubbed one of his break-ins “Operation Get Rich or Die Tryin’,” according to records in federal court,” the Globe reported.

But the Globe reported that in court on Tuesday he “looked very different. His hair was closely cropped. He wore narrow framed glasses and olive-shaded prison garb.”

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