As a judge handed down prison terms to two hackers for their roles in a ring that stole millions of credit card numbers from U.S. retailers, the list of their victims grew this week to include J.C. Penney Co. Inc. and The Wet Seal Inc., though both companies said the group did not obtain their customers’ data.
On Friday, a judge in U.S. District Court in Boston sentenced Albert Gonzalez, 28, of Miami, to 20 years in prison for his part as leader of the group, which, beginning in 2003, installed software in retailers’ networks that captured more than 40 million credit card numbers. Co-conspirator Christopher Scott, 28, also of Miami, received a seven-year sentence on Monday. Both men had earlier pleaded guilty to charges including fraud and identity theft.
Separately on Monday, the court unsealed documents that showed the hackers had attempted to access J.C. Penney’s computer networks in October 2007. Penney’s, previously known as “Company A” in court documents, had argued it should remain anonymous because the ring’s efforts were unsuccessful.
The company on Tuesday said: “Since no J.C. Penney customers were harmed as a result of the attempted breach, the company believed it had a legitimate interest in not being linked to criminal activity that resulted in major thefts of credit card information from other companies.”
Penney’s pointed to the decision of federal prosecutors in New Jersey, where a portion of the case was heard, not to disclose it as a victim because no data were stolen. The U.S. Attorneys’ office in Boston argued instead that it was in the public interest to reveal the department store operator’s part in the case. In an argument filed under seal on Dec. 29, the Boston prosecutors acknowledged that there was no evidence card information had been taken in the Penney’s incident, but wrote that it was only fair the store’s customers be told of the attempt.
In a separate statement Monday, teen retailer The Wet Seal said it discovered in May 2008 it had been a target of the Gonzalez ring. The company said it found no evidence the attack compromised any customer data.
The TJX Cos. Inc., one of the largest victims of the group, acknowledged in January 2007 that hackers had breached its systems. Indictments later showed the group targeted DSW Inc. and Forever 21 Inc., among others.
In a report issued Tuesday, the office of the U.S. Inspector General said identity theft affects an estimated 10 million Americans annually and that it believed the Department of Justice’s current approach to combat the problem is “not adequate based on the prevalence of the crime.”
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty