Former Network Engineer Pleads Guilty to Cyber Attack
BOSTON – A Lowell man pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Boston in connection with hacking into and damaging the computer networks of his former employer and three former clients causing damage of over $130,000.
Kamlesh Patel, 40, pleaded guilty to two counts to causing damage without authorization to Internet-connected computers and to one count of using means of identification to commit the offense. U.S. District Court Judge Leo T. Sorokin scheduled sentencing for Sept. 28, 2016.
Patel worked as a senior network engineer at Northborough-based Baesis Inc., a company that offered network maintenance and security services to its clients. In October 2010, after Baesis terminated Patel, he used a colleague’s network credentials to access Baesis’s computer network and deleted the company’s image server, a computer that stored copies of clients’ network configurations.
In late January 2011, Patel used his former colleague’s credentials once again to access Baesis’s network and the networks of three former clients. Patel used specialized software to delete data from all four companies’ networks. As a result, the victim companies temporarily lost use of their networks, including Internet and e-mail access. One victim company lost access to its Internet telephone system for several weeks.
Patel’s victims incurred $137,896 in damages. He has agreed to pay this amount in restitution in connection with his plea.
The charges of causing damage without authorization to Internet-connected computers provides for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charge of using means of identification to commit a felony provides for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, two years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Matthew J. Etre, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston, made the announcement today. Assistance was provided by the Northborough and Lowell Police Departments. The U.S. Attorney’s Office acknowledges Baesis, Inc. for its assistance with the investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth B. Kosto of Ortiz’s Cybercrime Unit.