Mar 21, 2016

Network Admin Sabotages ISP's Network After Getting Fired, Now Faces Jail

Network Admin Sabotages ISP's Network After Getting Fired, Now Faces Jail | Former ISP admin could get up to 30 years in prison

By Catalin Cimpanu

Dariusz J. Prugar, 32, of Syracuse, New York, was convicted on Friday, March 11, 2016, for illegally hacking into his former employee's computer network and deleting important files that caused it to crash and remain down for an entire week.

in June 2010, Prugar, who was a network administrator for Pa Online, a Pennsylvania-based Internet service provider, was fired from his job by his employer.

Prugar sabotaged his former employer

Days later, wanting revenge against his former company, Prugar used his old credentials to log into Pa Online's computer network and proceeded to retrieve former scripts and software he worked on. However, he also inadvertently deleted some important files and folders in order to hide his tracks. Some of these operations had side effects, such as the ISP's network crashing.

Prugar also installed other backdoors in the ISP's software so he could later log in if he needed to.

The damage inflicted was so vast that it took the ISP's employees, who were also helped by another company, an entire week to restore service. The entire affair thus caused damages of $5,000 (?4,500) while the downtime affected over 500 businesses and over 5,000 residential customers, some of who eventually changed their ISP.

Following this outage, Pa Online also had to rebuild its entire network so that Prugar would not be able to log in again.

Prugar also tried to extort his former company

The ISP suspected foul play when they contacted Prugar, who built many of the ISP's software programs, to ask him for help in restoring the mess. Prugar told the ISP that he'd help them only if the ISP returned the proprietary rights for some scripts and programs to him.

Piecing together his requests, the downtime, and his firing, Pa Online management contacted the FBI and requested help in investigating the issue.

Following the FBI's probe, Prugar was indicted in October 2012 and entered last week's trial with a non-guilty plea to charges of computer fraud, wire fraud, and extortion. During the trial, Prugar and the prosecution reached a plea agreement, and the man pleaded guilty to computer fraud while the other two charges were dropped. For his crime, Prugar now faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, but this is likely to be smaller since he has no previous criminal record. His sentencing date has not yet been set.

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