Man Who Hacked his Former Employer Gets 18-Month Prison Sentence

A Tennessee man also must pay restitution of nearly $172,400 to his former employer after hacking into its systems to gain an edge for his new company.



A federal court sentenced a Tennessee man to an 18-month prison sentence and ordered him to pay $172,394 in restitution, following his breach into a former employer's network and copying of emails in order to give his new company a competitive edge, according to the US Department of Justice.

Jason Needham, 45, was sentenced for breaching the computer networks and email of his former employer, Allen & Hoshall. Needham, a co-owner of HNA Engineering, admitted to breaking into Allen & Hoshall's servers over a two-year period to download copies of rendered engineering schematics and access more than 100 PDF documents with information including his rival's project proposals and budgetary documents.

The former Allen & Hoshall employee also acknowledged he accessed his former colleague's email account to glean information about the company's project proposals, marketing plans, fee structures, and account credentials for Allen & Hoshall's internal document-sharing system. The information that Needham accessed carried an estimated worth of $500,000.

"We believe that computer crimes are serious and that pursuing and prosecuting violators in an ethical and responsible manner are important aspects of maintaining the safety and security of private, confidential information for everyone," an Allen & Hoshall spokesperson said. Needham pleaded guilty to the charges back in April.

Read more about the DOJ case here.

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