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Former IT Admin Pleads Guilty to Cyber Attack

Former IT Admin Pleads Guilty to Cyber Attack - top government contractors - best government contracting event
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A Georgia man pleaded guilty this week to hacking the computer system of Shionogi, Inc., a U.S. subsidiary of a Japanese pharmaceutical company, and wreaking havoc on its internal servers.

According to federal prosecutors in New Jersey, Jason Cornish, 37, admitted to using a public server in Smyrna, Ga., to infiltrate the network of the Shionogi subsidiary after he had ended his employment as an information technology administrator with the company. He then deleted the contents of 15 VMware hosts used to run the 88 servers that supported email, employee Blackberrys, order tracking and other essential services.

The attack cost the company $800,000.

“The computers on which companies do business are the engines of the 21st century economy,“ U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman stated. “Malicious intrusions are against the law, regardless of motive.”

“Hacking attacks devised as personal revenge can have serious repercussions for perpetrators as well as victims,” he added.

Cornish is being charged with knowingly transmitting computer code with the intent to damage computers in interstate commerce and faces 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

“As the general public is becoming increasingly aware, the impact of cyber intrusions can be substantial, whether it occurs at home, a commercial institution or with critical national infrastructure,“ said Newark FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward. “In this instance, Jason Cornish allegedly was able to inflict great damage to Shionogi, Inc., with the stroke of a few computer keys.”

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