News and Press Releases

Nevada Cybercrime Task Force Nets Hacker

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 17, 2002

Las Vegas, Nev. - Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada, announced that on April 17, 2002, Christopher Scott Sandusky pleaded guilty in the United States District Court in Las Vegas to three-counts of Unauthorized Access to a Protected Computer in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(5)(A). Sandusky was indicted by a federal grand jury in Las Vegas in May 2001.


Sandusky, 35, was born in South Carolina, but presently resides in Cedar Park, Texas. According to the Plea Memorandum, Sandusky admitted to unlawfully accessing the computer system of Steinberg Diagnostic Medical Imaging (SDMI)of Las Vegas, Nevada, on three dates in 2001. SDMI is a multi-facility medical imaging company which, among other functions, provides imaging services such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI's) to UCLA Medical Center and other facilities. SDMI services approximately 400-600 patients per day. Sandusky admitted that during those unlawful accesses, he knowingly transmitted codes or information and impaired SDMI's system by changing the administrative passwords, locking personnel out of their own system, and crippling the business of SDMI.

Sandusky had been terminated from employment with a computer consulting business which assisted in setting up SDMI's computer system. The intrusions were discovered by SDMI's system administrator who found that SDMI's main domain server and secondary proxy server had been infiltrated by an unauthorized remote access. SDMI first experienced problems about a week before the passwords were changed, when they discovered that some patient billing records had been deleted. SDMI initially thought this was a software glitch and merely recreated the data from a backup, but a review of the logs by investigating agents revealed that those problems had also been caused by an unlawful access to SDMI's system by Sandusky.


Sandusky is scheduled to be sentenced in Las Vegas on August 2, 2002, before U.S. District Court Judge David W. Hagen. Sandusky is facing up to five years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 on each count. The actual sentence, however, will be dictated by the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of factors, and will be imposed at the discretion of the Court. Sandusky is released on a personal recognizance bond with pretrial services supervision pending sentencing.


The case was investigated by Special Agents of the United States Secret Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Las Vegas, and detectives with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Matt Parrella. The case was also developed as part of the Nevada Cybercrime Task Force, which shares information and resources pertaining to crimes of technology, and whose membership includes representatives of the Department of Energy, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Secret Service, the Office of the Inspector Generals for the Environmental Protection Agency and the Defense Criminal Investigation Service, the United States Attorney's Office, the Clark County School District, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the Henderson Police Department, the Nevada Attorney General's Office, the Nevada Department of Public Safety, and other local law enforcement agencies in Nevada.


For more information on cybercrime or on how to report Internet-related crime, go to www.cybercrime.gov.

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