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10/19/2007
07:03 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
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Jury Of His IT Peers Would Throw The Book At Convicted Hacker, Poll Shows

By an overwhelming margin, InformationWeek.com readers would hit 26-year-old convicted hacker Joseph Patrick Nolan with the maximum sentence of 10 years in jail plus a $250,000 fine, according to results of a CIOs Uncensored online poll. That maximum sentence got the vote of 65% of respondents, while 14% voted for 1 year in prison and a $50,000 fine; another 14% voted for 1,000 hours of community service

By an overwhelming margin, InformationWeek.com readers would hit 26-year-old convicted hacker Joseph Patrick Nolan with the maximum sentence of 10 years in jail plus a $250,000 fine, according to results of a CIOs Uncensored online poll. That maximum sentence got the vote of 65% of respondents, while 14% voted for 1 year in prison and a $50,000 fine; another 14% voted for 1,000 hours of community service; and 7% voted for no penalty at all.Just as the votes cast by readers tilted strongly toward the maximum penalty, reader commentary expressed little or no sympathy for Nolan. (As we reported earlier, the IT worker told his employer he was resigning, and in response the company told Nolan that if he signed a release form, he would be paid for his final two weeks without having to actually show up for work. According to court documents, Nolan failed to sign the required form, and so did not receive his final paycheck. Shortly thereafter, he hacked into the company's network and wiped out personnel and payroll files.) You can view some of those comments here, while among some of the more recent comments were these observations:

  • "NJ Mike" asks, "How many people didn't get paid on pay day because of his actions? How much extra work did IT people have to do [to] undo the damage he did?"
  • "Call for Sanity" says, "Babies like him need to learn that there are rules in this life that have to be followed."
  • "BigDeuce" says, "Might as well give him a long sentence. He will never think that he was in the wrong, he will always blame somebody else. So if he gets little or no punishment, he will think it is okay to trash somebody else's stuff and that same message will spread to others."
  • "BiggLarr" lays the blame elsewhere: "Now if there was/is any justice in the world, this company would fire the IT managers responsible for this company's data security since they are obviously clueless. And while they're at it, fire the HR manager that made a very bad decision in not paying the man what they promised."
  • And "Elephant in the Room" also points the finger at management: "If the HR staff were as worried about terminating his access as they were about holding his last paycheck for a paperwork error this wouldn't have happened. If the IT department had a backup, this is a nonevent; if there was no backup, then the people responsible need to go out the door." You can see the original story here as posted by our colleagues at the very excellent cybersecurity site, Dark Reading.

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