New York Man Convicted Of Computer Hacking Internet Service Provider
HARRISBURG - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Dariusz J. Prugar, age 32, of Syracuse, New York, was convicted on Friday, after a week-long trial before a federal jury in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, of computer fraud and wire fraud. Prugar was continued on bail and no date is set for sentencing. Senior U.S. District Court Judge Sylvia H. Rambo presided over the trial.
According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, Prugar was the network administrator for Pa Online, an internet service provider formerly located in Enola, Pennsylvania. Prugar was fired by Pa Online in June 2010. Days later, Prugar secretly hacked into the business’s computer network which caused files and directories to be erased and ultimately caused the network to crash. For approximately a week, Pa Online was unable to provide sustained service to over 5,000 residential customers and over 500 business customers. He also installed numerous “backdoor” entry points into the network so that he could access the network again.
Over a dozen former employees, outside consultants, and former clients of Pa Online testified to the impact the outage had. Former employees and outside consultants hired by Pa Online testified that the crash caused them to work for days attempting to return service. Former customers described their inability to access tools essential to their businesses, which resulted in the customers terminating their relationship with Pa Online. The business owner testified he had the entire network rebuilt to prevent Prugar from sabotaging the business again.
The computer fraud charge related to Prugar’s unlawful intrusion to the computer network, which caused thousands of dollars in damage. The wire fraud charge related to Prugar’s attempt to cause financial loss to his former employer through the use of interstate wires.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Michael A. Consiglio and Carl D. Marchioli.
A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
The maximum penalty under federal law is 30 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.
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