Fenwick Employment Brief - May 2013: Software Programmer Criminally Charged For Hacking Former Employer's Network


The federal Department of Justice recently filed criminal charges against a 41-year old software programmer and system manager who hacked into his former employer's computer network, causing $90,000 in damage.  The complaint alleges that the individual, who had previously voiced displeasure over being passed over for promotions, resigned and gained unauthorized access to the computer network after his network access was terminated.  Over a three week period, the former employee attempted to sabotage his former employer's business through stolen security credentials (including passwords) by corrupting the network, disrupting production and finance operations and attempting to alter the business calendar by one month.  If convicted, the individual faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and restitution.  This prosecution is a reminder for employers to take extra precautions to secure their electronic systems when an employee with such credentials departs.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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