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On July 31, 1996, plaintiff Omega Engineering Corp. ("Omega"), a New Jersey based company, lost its computer programs relating to design and production permanently from its system. Omega manufactured “highly specialized and sophisticated industrial process measurement devices and control equipment” for NASA and the United States Navy. The deletion of these programs debilitated their ability for manufacturing as well as costed the company millions of dollars in contracts and sales. From 1985 to July 10, 1996, defendant Timothy Lloyd worked as the computer system administrator at Omega. He trained with the Novell computer network and installed it to Omega’s computer system. The program worked to ensure that all of Omega’s documents could be kept on a central file server. Lloyd was the only Omega employee to maintain the Novell client and have “top-level security access” to it; however, the defense asserted that others at the company had access. According to a government expert, access "means that ... [an] account has full access to everything on the server." Lloyd was also the only employee in charge of backing up the information to the server. In 1994 or 1995, Lloyd became difficult. The company moved him laterally in hopes of improving his behavior. A government witness testified that even though it was a lateral move, it was in fact, considered a demotion by the company. Lloyd’s new supervisor asked him about the back-up system and wanted him to loop a couple more people in but he never did. Moreover, he instituted a company-wide policy that employees were no longer allowed to make personal backups of their files. On top of the above issues, there was also a “substandard performance review and raise.” The combination of the two factors, according to the government, showed Lloyd that his employment with the company would soon be terminated. This established Lloyd’s motive to sabotage the Omega computer system. On July 10, 1006, Lloyd was terminated. On July 31, 1996, Omega’s file server would not start up. On July 31, “Lloyd told a third party, that "everybody's job at Omega is in jeopardy.” days later it was realized that all of the information contained on it were permanently lost. More than 1,200 of Omega’s programs were deleted and, as per Lloyd’s policy, none of the employees had their own personal backups. There was no way for any of these programs to be recovered. A search warrant conducted on Lloyd’s house turned up some backup tapes and a file server master hard drive. Experts hired by Omega found that the deletion of information was “intentional and only someone with supervisory-level access to the network could have accomplished such a feat.” The commands necessary to pull off such a purge were characterized as a “time bomb” set to go off on July 31st when an employee logged into the system. There was evidence found by these experts of Lloyd testing these specific commands three different times. This string of commands was further found on the hard drive that was in Lloyd’s home. Lloyd was convicted of a federal count of computer sabotage. It was remanded due to a jury member’s claimed use of outside knowledge during deliberations. Julie received her J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law in 2014. Prior to law school, she was a 2008 magna cum laude graduate of Syracuse University, where she earned a B.A. in History and a minor in Religion and Society. After law school, Julie will serve as a law clerk to a judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey.
The FBI released a statement last week addressing a new Internet "drive-by" virus called Reveton ransomware, which operates by freezing a user's computer and displaying a notification that the user recently violated a federal crime (such as "illegal use of downloaded media" or "computer-use negligence"). The message then instructs the user to submit a payment to unlock the computer and provides an easy-to-use "pay MoneyPak" entry box right on the screen.Continue Reading
The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) issued a notice on May 8th that revealed a recent claim by the FBI and other agencies that cyber criminals are targeting travelers abroad through pop-up windows while they attempt to connect to the Internet in their hotel rooms. Specifically, as travelers attempt to setup a hotel room Internet connection through their laptop, they are presented with a pop-up window that asks to update a widely-used software product. If the user clicks “accept and install,” malicious software downloads on the travelers’ laptops. The pop-up window appears to offer a routine update to a legitimate software product for which updates are frequently available.Continue Reading
In an attempt to improve the planning and security efforts of its clients, Verizon released its annual Data Breach Investigation’s Report 2012. Conducted by the Verizon RISK Team in cooperation with the Australian Federal Police, Dutch National High Tech Crime Unit, Irish Reporting and Information Security Service, Police Central e-Crime Unit, and the United States Secret Service, the report carefully breaks down and analyzes global data breach statistics from 2011 in an attempt to recommend effective solutions designed to successfully prevent future breaches in 2012. The statistics cited in the report help illustrate how easy it can be for businesses to thwart possible data breaches, and identify which organizations are most vulnerable. The Report analyzes 855 data breach incidents that compromised nearly 174 million records in 2011, and notes that large and small businesses alike are experiencing the second highest data loss total since Verizon’s annual report began keeping track of compromised records in 2004. The Report, which can be downloaded here, gathers its results from first-hand evidence collected during paid external forensic investigations of 765 data breach incidents.Continue Reading