Computer Crime Research Center


S.F. engineer pleads not guilty to cyber crime

Date: July 18, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO—A San Francisco computer engineer has pleaded not guilty to charges of taking over a city computer network that stores payroll files, police records and other confidential information.

Forty-three-year-old Terry Childs entered his plea Thursday to four felony counts of computer tampering.

Childs also was appointed a new defense lawyer, after the public defender's office said its payroll records are kept on the network he allegedly hijacked.

Authorities say he created a password that locked out other users and gave him exclusive access. Officials have said the tampering could cost the city millions of dollars.

His new lawyer, Erin Crane, says the charges against Childs are based on a "big misunderstanding." She says there is no danger to the city's computer network.

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