The Worst Data Theft Ever

The Worst Data Theft Ever

The Worst Data Theft Ever.

The Worst Data Theft Ever: The worst data theft in American history is the theft of credit and debit card information at TJX and its chain outlets. In 2005, one Alberto Gonzales and two accomplices managed to hack into and infiltrate the TJX’s computer systems and steal data for approximately 45.7 million credit and debit card numbers.

Gonzales and his team were able to gather personal data such as social security numbers, driving licenses and military identification of over 45million customers at TJX and its outlets (Vacca, 2012).

The hackers identified vulnerabilities in the wireless network security at TJX and through those, they were able to install stiffer programs that targeted the networks processing credit cards and intercept

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Thirdly, TJX stored credit card information in its systems for more that the stipulated time and transmitted that data to banks without encryption (Oz, 2008). The incident is considered the worst in history since it resulted in financial damages and cost worth billions of dollars.

Notably, TJX incurred costs of more than one billion dollars to deal with legal settlements associated with the breach, strengthen its information security systems and extra marketing to regain consumer confidence.

The incident was also a nightmare for law enforcement agencies since it served to empower the cybercriminal economy. Many of the stolen cards were sold online and law enforcement agencies were at a loss determining where that information ended up.


Greenemeier, L. (2007, March 29). T.J. Maxx Parent Company Data Theft Is The Worst Ever. Retrieved from InformationWeek: Connecting The Business Technology Community:

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