Former VP Of Technology Charged With Hacking Corporate Network - InformationWeek

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11/20/2006
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Former VP Of Technology Charged With Hacking Corporate Network

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, an IT pro allegedly hacked into his former employer's network, read confidential e-mail about upcoming layoffs, and then alerted employees that they might be let go.

A former VP of technology at SourceMedia has been arrested and charged with hacking into the company's network, reading confidential e-mails, and tipping off employees who were in line to be laid off.

Stevan Hoffacker, 53, of Queens, N.Y., was arrested on Nov. 15 and charged with one count of unauthorized access to a protected computer network. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.

According to a written release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, three years after he was dismissed from SourceMedia, Hoffacker broke back into the system, read e-mails regarding a pending layoff and then e-mailed two employees from a Yahoo account alerting them that they might be losing their jobs. The U.S. Attorney's Office reported that before the employees received what were anonymous e-mails, their employment status had been the subject of e-mail strings between senior SourceMedia executives discussing their possible termination.

SourceMedia is a New York-based publisher of financial publications such as the Bond Buyer and American Banker.

The FBI traced both the e-mails and the network hacking back to Hoffacker. The release said the FBI used technical data logs that contain identifying information about computers that access the company's network remotely, along with records from the company that provided cable modem service to Hoffacker, and records from Yahoo.

Hoffacker allegedly hacked into SourceMedia's network on "various occasions."

He worked for SourceMedia, a company with 1,000 employees, between 1997 and his termination in 2003. He worked there, at different times, as both the director of IT and VP of technology. In those positions, he reportedly had access to the passwords for the e-mail accounts of SourceMedia employees.

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