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This sysadmin hacked his ISP company to bring it down for a week for firing him, got two years in prison
Hell hath no fury like a fired employee!! An ex-employee who worked as a system adminstrator at a ISP and felt he was wrongly fired brought down the entire ISP service to halt for a full week. Dariusz J. Prugar worked as a sysadmin in Pa Online, an internet service provider (ISP) formerly located in Enola, Pennsylvania.
On one fine June morning he was fired after a series of ‘personal issues.’ While any other individual may have moved on with his life by seeking treatment for ‘personal issues’ and possibly another job in the highly lucrative sysadmin field. But not Prugar, he wanted revenge.
Days after he was fired, Prugar used his old credentials to log into the ISP’s network, install backdoors, and steal scripts and software on which he worked on during his employment at the company. It was a piece of cake for him as he new insides of the system. Prugar also used an automated script that deleted various logs to hide his tracks. When Prugar removed the scripts, the ISP’s central server system crashed, affecting over 500 businesses and over 5,000 residential customers.
The engineers at PA Online were flumoxed about the mysterious outage and couldn’t identify the fault. Not knowing that Prugar was responsible for the week long outage, his employers decided to reach out to him because he new the inside out of the PA Online system.
Prugar acted difficult to get and instead of requesting money as payment, he insisted that he should be granted rights to the software and scripts he wrote while at the company, software which was now malfunctioning, a week after he left.
ISP was down for a week
In the meantime, the ISP services of Pa Online were down for a week and the customer’s started creating furor at unvailability of services. PA Online management also filed a complaint with the FBI. The company also requested the help of a third-party contractor to fix the outage and rebuild their entire architecture, suspecting that Prugar was somehow involved.
The outage lasted for a week, during which time the ISP lost multiple clients, and took serious hit on its reputation.
As the FBI investigation progressed, it became clear that Prugar was behind the outage, and authorities charged Prugar in October 2012.
Prugar gets two years in jail and a $26,000 fine
A judge in New York has sentenced Prugar to two years in prison for hacking his former employee, Pa Online. In the subsequent proceedings, Prugar pleaded guilty on computer hacking and wire fraud charges in March 2016.
He was sentenced on November 29, 2016, and Prugar must report to the Bureau of Prisons on December 27, 2016, to begin serving his prison sentence. According to the charges brought by the DA, Prugar faced a jail sentence of up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. He’ll now have to spend two years in jail and pay $26,000 in restitution, according to the US Department of Justice.
Prugar’s hacking of his ISP caused a long term effect on PA Online and it could never recover from the loss of reputation. As of October 1, 2015, Pa Online has ceased all operations.