Programmer accused of assisting T.J. Maxx hackers

News by SC Staff

A computer programmer has been accused of assisting the hackers who hit T.J. Maxx.

A computer programmer has been accused of assisting the hackers who hit T.J. Maxx.


Stephen Watt has been indicted by the US District Court of Massachusetts for conspiring with and assisting Albert Gonzalez. He has been accused of providing Gonzales with the packet sniffing application which was used to steal the details of over 40 million credit and debit cards.


Gonzalez is accused of being the leader of the gang of hackers responsible for the biggest identity theft incident ever to be prosecuted in the U.S. The gang used a sniffing program called “blabla” in order to intercept the secure communications between the cashing terminals and the credit card processing servers.

The investigation has determined that Stephen Watt is responsible for initially providing Gonzales with the sniffer, and modifying its source code several times in order to meet the hackers' needs. According to the indictment, the sniffing application was hosted on a remote server in Latvia when Watt adjusted it.

Ten other people have been charged in this case so far, with three being from the US, three from Ukraine, two from China, another one being Estonian and one from Belarus. The identity of the eleventh hacker is still unknown, but one of the three U.S. citizens, Damon Patrick Toey from Miami, has already pleaded guilty and accepted a deal for a recommendation of reduced sentence in exchange of assisting the investigation.


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