Department of Justice Seal Department of Justice
FRIDAY, MAY 12, 2006
(202) 514-2007
TDD (202) 514-1888

Former Federal Computer Security Specialist Sentenced for Hacking Department of Education Computer

WASHINGTON – Kenneth Kwak, 34, of Chantilly, Va., was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth to five months in prison followed by five months of home confinement, based upon Kwak’s conviction for gaining unauthorized access to and obtaining information from a Department of Education computer system, the Department of Justice announced today.

Kwak’s sentence results from his March 2006 guilty plea to one count of intentionally gaining unauthorized access to a government computer and thereby obtaining information. In his plea, Kwak, who had been working in an office responsible for ensuring the security of Department of Education computer systems, admitted that he had placed software on a supervisor's computer which enabled him to access the computer’s storage at will. He later used that access on numerous occasions to view his supervisor’s intra-office and Internet email as well as his other Internet activity and communications; Kwak then shared this information with others in his office.

As part of today’s sentence, Judge Lamberth also ordered Kwak to pay restitution to the U.S. government in the amount of $40,000 and serve a three-year term of supervised release. The five months of home confinement with electronic monitoring was ordered as a special condition of this term of supervised release.

The matter was investigated by the Computer Crime Investigations Division of the Department of Education Inspector General’s Office. The case was prosecuted by Senior Counsel William Yurek, cross-designated as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, with assistance by Trial Attorney Howard Cox, both of the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section of the Criminal Division. The prosecution was part of the “zero-tolerance policy” recently adopted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office regarding intrusions into U.S. government computer systems.