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‘Source Media’ Files Hacking Accusation on Hoffacker

A former executive of 'Source Media Inc.' was held for hacking into the company's computer system after three years of his dismissal, prosecutors said on November 15, 2006. He was also charged for toppling over employees whose jobs were at risk. When one employee reported to his boss about certain e-mail, the company realized there was an electronic intruder in their network. 'Source Media' is a publisher of 'American Banker', the 'Bond Buyer' and other financial publications in New York.
The U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan charged Steven Hoffacker, 'Source Media's' former director of information technology and later vice-president of technology, for performing illegal access to a protected network of the company.
Hoffacker was an employee of 'Source Media' and its forerunner company from 1998 through 2003. As vice-president of information technology, the company sacked him from his job in 2003. While he was at that post, he supervised the company's computer network and its internal e-mail system, which he accessed from his home accounts with a username and password.

In 2004, a newspaper story quoted Hoffacker describing the dangers resulting from hacking operations and the need for secured passwords. Although Hoffacker admitted using the same password for several e-mail accounts, he knew it wasn't a safe practice.

After a number of years of Hoffacker's retrenchment from the company, in around August and September this year, two employees of 'Source Media' each received e-mail from a Yahoo account alerting them that they could be sacked from their jobs. These e-mails were anonymous and before they arrived, the two workers were subject of discussion among senior company officials via e-mails about the formers' employment status and resultant termination.
As a consequence of the security breach in 'Source Media' the company had to hire the services of an external law firm and redirect personnel to deal the security violation. This caused the company a damage of more than $100,000, according to court documents.

Investigation by Garcia's officewas assisted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and lead to the arrest of Hoffacker. He is punished with a five-year imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 if proved guilty.

Related article: “Loopholes did not cause online banking thefts”: ICBC

» SPAMfighter News - 24-11-2006

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