I need some help with this assignment. There are three parts.
1)Research the group members identified in the video “Hackers: Operation Get Rich or Die Tryin’”—Albert Gonzalez, Stephen Watt, Damon Patrick Toey, Humza Zaman, and Christopher Scott. Pick a member of the gang and describe his motivation when he started with this hacking operation. Describe how that motivation evolved until the operation was finally shut down. (This has to only be a paragraph at max long)
In responding to classmates, comment on why you think the gang member with so much talent in computers would choose the criminal path of this operation rather than other lucrative high-tech paths. (Again only a paragraph in length long, please use references if needed)
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Stephen Watt, AKA Jim Jones, AKA UNIX Terrorist (Zetter, 2009), seemed like a motivated young man with big dreams. He graduated high school at the age of 16 with a 4.37 GPA, and from college at the age of 19. While attending high school Watt worked at a software firm and worked at a computer security firm during the summer months as an intern. At the age of 15, Watt met Albert Gonzalez on an (IRC) Internet Relay Chat channel while both were living in Florida, and so a friendship was formed. At the age of 20, Watt worked for Morgan Stanley earning $90K and 3 years later with Imagine Software earning $130K (Zetter, 2009). Money did not seem to be a motivation for illegal activities for a young man with a bright future as a software engineer. In 2007 Stephen Watt, Albert Gonzalez, and Damon Patrick Toey met in Miami for a weekend where Watt was persuaded to write code that would sniff packets which was given to Gonzalez (Erdely, 2010). During that year Watt had moved to New York, where he found himself experimenting with drugs, a big lifestyle change (Zetter, 2009). Ultimately, I believe it was his friendship and loyalty to Gonzalez and the rest of the crew that led him to choose the decision to aide his friends. Watt was sentenced to serve 2 years in prison and restitution of 100 Million (Zetter, 2013).
Erdely, S. (2010, November 11). Sex, Drugs, And The Biggest Cybercrime Of All Time. RollingStone. Retrieved from http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/sex-drugs-and-the-biggest-cybercrime-of-all-time-20101111
Zetter, K. (2009, June 18). TJX Hacker Was Awash In Cash; His Penniless Coder Faces Prison. Wired.com. Retrieved from https://www.wired.com/2009/06/watt/
Zetter, K. (2013, April 4). Caught In The System, Ex-Hacker Is Stalked By His Past. Wired.com. Retrieved from https://www.wired.com/2013/04/stephen-watt-stalked-by-past
3)Humza Zaman was convicted in March of 2010 of being the “bag man” for the notorious hacking group spotlighted in the video “American Greed: S0540 Hackers Operation Get Rich or Die Tryin’” (American Greed, 2016), meaning that he laundered the money by moving it between Eastern European accounts and accounts based back in the United States. He was convicted of 46 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release and a fine of $75,000 (Zetter, 2010).
At the time of his activity with the Gonzalez organization Zaman was employed at Barclays Bank, progressing in his career with increasing responsibilities and salary, ending at over $130,000 per year. Despite a seemingly advantaged childhood and his career success, he enjoyed using recreational drugs and “partying”, required more money than his legal salary from Barclays Bank provided(US v. Zaman, 2010).
Zaman’s initial involvement with the Gonzalez organization began in 2005, where he used manufactured ATM cards to withdraw US currency from created fictitious accounts and to forward the money to Gonzalez himself, minus a percentage cut. Later he traveled to meet with “a person of Eastern European descent” and accepted large deliveries of cash, which he then mailed to Gonzalez, minus his percentage cut. At some point Zaman stole ATM system logs from Barclays Bank, where he was working (US v. Zaman, 2010). Zaman clearly escalated both the risks he was willing to take and the depth of participation he was willing to perpetrate. I can only assume that the money seemed easy and as the years passed without getting caught he must have assumed that he was not going to get caught.
American Greed. (2017, December 20). S0540 Hackers Operation Get Rich or Die Tryin’. Retrieved January 31, 2017, from https://vimeo.com/196426503
United States of America V. Humza Zaman, 6 (United States District Court – District of Massachusetts January 31, 2010). Retrieved January 31, 2017 from https://www.wired.com/images_blogs/threatlevel/2010/03/humza-zaman-sentencing-memo.pdf
Zetter, K. (2010, March 10). TJX Hacking Conspirator Gets 4 Years. Retrieved January 31, 2017, from https://www.wired.com/2010/03/tjx-conspirator-sentenced-to-46-month/