Former Employee Sentenced to Prison for Password Trafficking and Computer Damage (December 2, 2003)
DOJ Seal
December 2, 2003

U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Western District of Pennsylvania
Mary Beth Buchanan
633 U.S. Post Office & Courthouse Seventh Avenue and Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 1219
Phone: (412) 644-3500

Former Employee of American Eagle Outfitters Sentenced to Prison for Password Trafficking and Computer Damage  

United States Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan announced today, December 2, 2003, that Kenneth Patterson, a resident of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, has been sentenced in federal court in Pittsburgh to eighteen (18) months imprisonment and two (2) years supervised release on his convictions of Password Trafficking and Computer Damage.

Senior United States District Judge Gustave Diamond imposed the sentence on Patterson, age 38, 615 Cherry Street, Greensburg, Pennsylvania 15601.

According to information presented to the court by Assistant United States Attorney Paul E. Hull, Patterson was a former employee of American Eagle Outfitters, a large clothing retailer in Marshal Township. After his forced separation from American Eagle, Patterson was disgruntled and depressed. He posted and maintained at a Yahoo hacker group posting board the username and password combinations of certain legitimate American Eagle Outfitters users together with detailed instructions on how to hack into the wide area network of American Eagle Outfitters using those passwords.

Patterson then engaged in a series of computer intrusions into the American Eagle Outfitters computer network from November 27, 2002 through December 1, 2002. These intrusions were attempts to deny computer services to American Eagle Outfitters during the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. These denial of service attempts were quickly identified by American Eagle personnel and corrective actions were implemented that limited their intended economic impact.

Prior to imposing sentence, Judge Diamond stated that the eighteen (18) months sentence was adequate to punish the defendant and to deter others from committing serious computer crime. Judge Diamond also ordered Patterson to pay mandatory restitution of $64,833.10.

Ms. Buchanan commended the High Technology Crimes Task Force, which comprises agents and investigators from the United States Postal Inspection Service, the United States Secret Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office, detectives from the Allegheny County, detective from the City of Pittsburgh Police Department, Greensburg Police Department and troopers from the Pennsylvania State Police, conducted the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Patterson.