A US court has sentenced a man to eight years in jail for what is believed to be the world's largest data theft.
Scott Levine, who ran bulk e-mail company Snipermail.com, was given the sentence after being convicted on 120 counts of unauthorised access of a protected computer, two counts of access device fraud, and one count of obstruction of justice.
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive emails regarding relevant topic offers from TechTarget and its partners. You can withdraw your consent at any time. Contact TechTarget at 275 Grove Street, Newton, MA.
Levine raided more than a billion personal records held by data management company Acxiom.
Prosecutors described the case as the "largest ever invasion and theft of personal data" ever tried.
In addition to the eight-year sentence, US District Court Judge William Wilson issued a restitution order for $249,752, but has said he will adjust the figure after reviewing a pre-sentencing report.
The US government put the value of the stolen data at approximately $58m - a figure contested by Levine's lawyer, who said it was worth about $50,000.
The offences took place over a 16-month period up to August 2003, when Levine took advantage of security weaknesses in Acxiom's systems.
The stolen data was fed into the Snipermail.com databases.