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IT Director Sentenced to 27 Months in Prison for Hacking Former Employer’s Web Site

An IT Director who was fired from his job at Richmond, VA based Transmarx LLC, was sentenced to 27 months in prison for hacking into his former employer’s website, according to the Department of Justice.

On June 29, 2010, Darnell H. Albert-El, 53, of Richmond, pleaded guilty to one count of intentionally damaging a protected computer without authorization. Albert-El was sentenced today by Senior U.S. District Judge Robert E. Payne in the Eastern District of Virginia. Albert- El was also ordered to pay $6,700 in restitution to Transmarx.Cybercrime

According to court documents, in June 2008, Transmarx terminated Albert-El from his position as their information technology director. During his employment, Albert-El had administrator-level access to the Transmarx computer network, which included the company website that was hosted on a computer system located in Suwanee, Ga. In pleading guilty, Albert-El admitted that on July 25, 2008, he used a personal computer and an administrator account and password to access the computer hosting the Transmarx website. After accessing the computer, Albert-El knowingly caused the transmission of a series of commands that intentionally caused damage without authorization to the computer by deleting approximately 1,000 files related to the Transmarx website. In pleading guilty, Albert-El admitted that he caused the damage because he was angry about being fired. Albert-El’s actions caused more than $6,000 in losses to Transmarx.

The case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Thomas Dukes, who is also a Senior Counsel with the U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section.

Law Enforcement agencies have accelerated investigations and increased resources to fight these types of crimes and it’s starting to pay off. In a separate and unrelated case, the Baltimore City Grand Jury indicted a former head of management information systems at the Baltimore Substance Abuse System (BSAS), for remotely installed keystroke logging software on various computers, which he used to obtain the network passwords of at least five BSAS employees.

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