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Attacks/Breaches

11/1/2010
02:00 PM
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Virginia IT Director Sentenced To 27 Months In Prison For Hacking Former Employer's Website

Darnell H. Albert-El pleaded guilty to one count of intentionally damaging a protected computer without authorization

WASHINGTON – A fired information technology director for Transmarx LLC, a Richmond, Va., company, was sentenced today to 27 months in prison for hacking into his former employer’s website, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride of the Eastern District of Virginia.

On June 29, 2010, Darnell H. Albert-El, 53, of Richmond, pleaded guilty to one count of intentionally damaging a protected computer without authorization. Albert-El was sentenced today by Senior U.S. District Judge Robert E. Payne in the Eastern District of Virginia. Albert-El was also ordered to pay $6,700 in restitution to Transmarx.

According to court documents, in June 2008, Transmarx terminated Albert-El from his position as their information technology director. During his employment, Albert-El had administrator-level access to the Transmarx computer network, which included the company website that was hosted on a computer system located in Suwanee, Ga. In pleading guilty, Albert-El admitted that on July 25, 2008, he used a personal computer and an administrator account and password to access the computer hosting the Transmarx website. After accessing the computer, Albert-El knowingly caused the transmission of a series of commands that intentionally caused damage without authorization to the computer by deleting approximately 1,000 files related to the Transmarx website. In pleading guilty, Albert-El admitted that he caused the damage because he was angry about being fired. Albert-El’s actions caused more than $6,000 in losses to Transmarx.

This case was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Thomas Dukes, who is also a Senior Counsel with the U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section. This case was investigated by the FBI.

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