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Former Cox Employee Pleaded Guilty for Shutting Down Company Network

A man from Georgia who was asked to give up his job at Cox Communications admitted guilt on September 26, 2007 of breaking into his ex-employer's system network and disrupting the telecommunication services including the 911 number in key cities of US.

38-year old William Bryant pleaded guilty during prosecution in federal district court for intentionally transmitting data to a system used for commerce between states. This unauthorized act resulted in destruction of that system.

Spokesman for Cox, David Grabert, told SCMagazine.com on September 27, 2007 that the company based in Atlanta itself detected the security problem, following which it notified the law enforcement agency.

The incident is indeed unfortunate, but it proves the company's acumen in the ability of its engineering and security teams to detect the security breach and reinstate the services quickly, Grabert said.

William gets a prison sentence for up to 10 years and a maximum fine of $250,000. His sentence is scheduled for December 13, 2007 in front of US District Judge Thomas W. Thrash.

Bryant used to work for Cox Communications, which runs a communication and computer system across the US When the company asked Bryant to resign, he shutdown part of the Cox's system, which the technicians restored soon.

Following the shutdown, customers in Las Vegas, Dallas, Baton Rouge, La., and New Orleans could not access some 911 emergency services.

Hacking, which is the process of intruding into a computer system and causing damage, is a grave crime, said U.S. Attorney David Nahmias in a news release that chron.com published on September 27, 2007. Such electronic assaults threaten the country's technological infrastructure; therefore, the culprits will be aggressively investigated and prosecuted, Nahmias added.

VP of marketing at security vendor Guardium, Phil Neray said, as per SCMagazine published on September 27, 2007, that Bryant could continue to access Cox's network even after his resignation because the account termination took time as different companies follow different procedures for termination. Account sharing is a facility for privileged users, so they have at least one account to access that stays active. Besides, organizations have logging facilities, which they use as security measures, and it reveals the breach only after it has occurred.

Related article: Former Council Intern Charged with Intruding City E-mail

» SPAMfighter News - 10/10/2007

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