Ex Programmer Charged with Hacking

Tuesday, May 7, 2013 @ 09:05 AM gHale


A 41-year-old Long Island man is under arrest for disrupting his former employer’s network after losing out on promotions, which led him to quit his job and take revenge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) officials said.

Michael Meneses, a systems manager from Smithtown, Long Island, NY, who worked for a company that manufactures high-voltage power supplies, caused the company over $90,000 in damages, the FBI New York Field Office said.

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Meneses worked at the company until January 2012, where he specialized in developing and customizing software used by the company to run its business operations, the FBI said. He was one of two employees responsible for ensuring the software ran smoothly in order to keep production planning, purchasing and inventory control operating efficiently, it said. This role gave Meneses high-level access to the company’s network, the FBI said.

After not getting promotions he expressed his displeasure and resigned in December 2011, the FBI said. After the company terminated his network access, Meneses found a way to launch a three-week campaign to cause damage to his former employer after getting unauthorized access to the network, the FBI said.

He hacked into the company’s network, stole former co-workers security credentials, including writing a program to capture log-in names and passwords, according to the FBI. He used the information to remotely access the company’s network using a virtual private network to corrupt the company’s network from Meneses’ home and from a hotel close to his new employer, the FBI said.

“Meneses’ efforts ranged from using a former colleague’s email account to discourage new applicants from taking Meneses’ position, to sending commands to alter the business calendar by one month, disrupting the company’s production and finance operations,” the FBI said.

The defendant “engaged in a 21st Century campaign of cyber-vandalism and high-tech revenge,” said Loretta E. Lynch, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

Meneses appeared in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York in Central Islip, Long Island Thursday where he officially denied the allegations and ended up released on a $50,000 bond. The affected company is Spellman High Voltage Electronics Corporation.

If Meneses ends up found guilty, he faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and restitution, the FBI said.



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