New Yorker charged with providing "sniffer" trojan for TJX hack

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A 25-year-old man has been charged with providing the program used to capture credit card data as it traversed through the network of nine merchants.

Stephen Watt of New York was charged with conspiracy, according to a news release last Wednesday from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston.

Authorities said Watt provided the "sniffer" program that was used to hijack millions of card numbers as they passed across corporate networks, from cash registers to payment processors.

Watt was part of the cybercrime syndicate that ripped off more than 40 million credit and debit card numbers between 2003 and 2007 from retailers such as TJX, DSW and BJ's Wholesale Club, authorities said. The cyberbandits, led by Albert Gonzalez of Miami, exploited insecure wireless networks, which enabled them to place the malicious programs on the private networks.

No trial date was reported in the release.

If convicted, Watt faces up to five years in prison and three years of supervised release, in addition to a $250,000 fine.
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