December 2, 2022

Ex-IT Professional Pleads Guilty to Sabotaging Financial Firm’s Computer Network

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Sept. 29—A Honolulu information technology professional today pleaded guilty to sabotaging his former employer’s computer network as part of a higher pay scheme.

Casey Umetsu, 40, as part of his guilty plea in US District Court, admitted to altering the online traffic of a Hawaii-based financial company he worked at shortly after cutting ties with the company, where he had worked from 2017-2019.

He admitted to using the company’s credentials to access a website it used to manage its Internet domain. Umetsu changed company configuration settings and made several changes, including diverting web and email traffic to computers that were not affiliated with the company.

Umetsu extended the outage by blocking the company from accessing the website.

He admitted he made the changes to convince the company to rehire him for a higher salary.

“Umetsu criminally abused special access privileges granted to him by his employer to disrupt his network operations for personal gain,” U.S. Attorney Clare Connors said in a statement. “Those who compromise the security of a computer network – whether government, commercial or personal – will be investigated and prosecuted, including technology personnel whose access was granted by the victim.”

Umetsu faces up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and up to three years of probation.

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