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Former Council Intern Charged with Intruding City E-mail

Eric Abraham Hernandez, an 18-year-old ex-intern to Sam Liccardo, Councilman for San Jose, is charged with serious crime of allegedly breaking into e-mail system of the city for over 100 times seeking to spread political dirt about his ex-boss's girlfriend.

According to Sgt. Mike Sullivan, spokesman for San Jose police, Hernandez was taken into custody on February 15, 2008 at his city residence. Mercurynews published this on February 16, 2008.

According to the Office of the Santa Clara County District Attorney, Hernandez, a disappointed ex-employee with City Hall, could be imprisoned for three years if proved guilty in court of illegally taking and copying computer data to use for unlawful purposes.

Hernandez, who set up Liccardo' staff e-mail accounts, also got to know their passwords. He broke into the city e-mail system using his home PC because he felt anger for Jessica Garcia-Kohl, who had been Liccardo's chief employee for sometime. Jessica was in the position until June 2007 when she worked as staff of Mayor Chuck Reed after developing a romantic relationship with Liccardo.

Hernandez breached the security of computers of the city to hunt for e-mails exchanged between Jessica and Liccardo, thinking he would find one showing their violation of the City Hall e-mail rules.

The intrusions came into light in 2007 following the appearance of e-mail dated November 4, 2007 on the city's blog from Reed's key staff Pete Furman to other staff of the council. After Furman asked all of the e-mail recipients if anyone had exposed it, he engaged a computer analyst to investigate. At that time the analyst found that Jessica's e-mail account had been accessed several hours following Fruman's issue of a memo.

Meanwhile, Hernandez admitted that he hacked into the city's computer and was planning to provide Mercury News and a popular political blog with inside information. Hernandez made the access after August 2007 when his unremunerated internship ended.

Police were summoned to investigate the case in December when they traced the intrusion to Hernandez. Hernandez was given no indictment date (as of February 15, 2008) and was detained at San Jose's Main Jail on bail for $15,000.

Related article: Former Cox Employee Pleaded Guilty for Shutting Down Company Network

» SPAMfighter News - 2/22/2008

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