Computer Crime Research Center


Former employee charged with computer hacking

Date: September 01, 2004
Source: Computer Crime Research Center
By: Dmitri Kramarenko

A former employee of Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates, Inc., a large high-technology company headquartered in Gloucester, was charged August 23 in federal court with computer hacking that caused significant damage to Varian's computer systems.

United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan and Kenneth W. Kaiser, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced that PATRICK ANGLE, age 34, currently of Columbus, Indiana, has been charged in a one-count Information with intentionally damaging a protected computer.

The Information charges that ANGLE, who had worked for Varian, first in Gloucester and then from his home in Indiana, had become disgruntled with his employment by September, 2003, and had been told by the company that his contract would be terminated in October, 2003. It is alleged that to vent his frustration with Varian, on September 17, 2003, ANGLE logged into Varian's computer server in Massachusetts from his Indiana home and intentionally deleted the source code for the e-commerce software that he and others had been developing. He then covered his tracks by editing and deleting some of the computer logs of activity on the server and by changing the server's root password to make it difficult for other Varian employees to log on to the server and assess and repair the damage.

The software source code that ANGLE deleted had been developed at great expense to Varian and would have been expensive to reproduce. Although Varian was ultimately able to recover the deleted material from backups, the recovery effort cost the company approximately $26,455.

If convicted, ANGLE faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000, and restitution.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Varian reported the crime to the FBI and provided valuable assistance throughout the investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam J. Bookbinder in Sullivan's Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Unit and by Trial Attorney Scott L. Garland of the U.S. Department of Justice's Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section.

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