Former MIS Head at Baltimore Substance Abuse System Indicted for Cybercrime
The Baltimore City Grand Jury has indicted Walter Powell, former head of management information systems at the Baltimore Substance Abuse System (BSAS), for numerous counts of computer network intrusion. It is the first cybercrime indictment filed by the Forensic Investigations Unit of the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office.
According to prosecutors’ allegation, Powell began accessing the BSAS computer network from his home computer within weeks of his September, 2009 departure. He remotely installed keystroke logging software on various computers, which he used to obtain the network passwords of at least five BSAS employees. Over the course of 32 days, Powell is alleged to have accessed – or attempted to access – the BSAS network more than 100 times using the passwords of those employees.
Powell is also alleged to have remotely gained control of a computer used by BSAS CEO Greg Warren during a presentation to the BSAS Board of Directors. Powell caused the presentation computer to shut down, restart, and then display a pornographic image. Powell is further alleged to have accessed the e-mail account of Warren, forwarded confidential e-mails to others, and composed a fictitious e-mail message that was sent to a BSAS e-mail distribution list.
Powell has turned himself in and is scheduled to be arraigned October 6. If convicted, he faces a total maximum sentence of 48 years.