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San Jose Federal Jury Convicts Hacker

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Internet crimes, hacking, San Jose internet crime defense attorney, computer hacking, Internet-related chargesIn the world of Internet hacking, participants operate under a variety of motives. Some do it for ethical purposes, uncovering vulnerabilities that threaten security. Others engage in hacking for thrill seeking purposes or with the intent of disrupting systems, stealing data and money from accounts, or otherwise causing extensive damage. If caught in this type of situation, you will need an experienced Internet crime defense lawyer on your side to avoid potentially severe penalties.

As a recent local case shows, even with only circumstantial evidence against you, you could still find yourself facing hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines along with a possible prison sentence.

Hacker Faces Felony Charges

In early June 2018, a federal jury in San Jose found a San Francisco man guilty of computer hacking-related crimes which targeted the company Embarcadero Media. The verdict was reported on by the Almanac News, a subsidiary of the media giant. In an ironic twist, Embarcadero also happens to hold the distinction of being the first U.S. newspaper to ever be published on the world wide web. Prosecutors did not specify whether this may have been part of the motive in the attack.

The incident itself occurred in September 2015, when a 35-year-old man was alleged to have hacked into the company's computer database, gaining access to the system and to the email accounts of at least three employees. The hack shut down the Almanac along with four other Embarcadero owned websites, causing an estimated $32,000 in damages while leaking potentially sensitive data and personal information.

On June 6, 2018, after a six day trial and roughly 36 hours of deliberations, the San Jose jurors reached a guilty verdict in the case. The man was convicted of two felony counts of transmitting and attempting to transmit a program, code, command, or information to a computer, with the intent to cause damage, along with three misdemeanor counts of unlawfully obtaining information from a protected computer. In all, he faces fines of up to $800,000 and up to 23 years imprisonment. Sentencing in the case is set for September 2018.

Conviction on Circumstantial Evidence

While the Embarcadero case was heard in San Jose, it was prosecuted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) cyber crime unit. In pursuing charges against individuals or groups accused of Internet crimes, such as hacking, investigators generally are forced to rely on circumstantial evidence. While the hacker accessed the system via a VPN, which provides an anonymous Internet address, prosecutors were still able to connect him to the case via log in entries on his personal computer, emails he received, and testimony from a former roommate, who claimed the defendant bragged about the hack.

Contact Us Today for Help

When facing hacking or other Internet-related charges, the lower threshold needed to obtain a conviction makes it all the more important to have an experienced San Jose Internet crime defense attorney on your side. To protect yourself in this situation, contact Jachimowicz Law Group and request a consultation to discuss your case today.

Sources:

https://www.almanacnews.com/news/2018/06/07/hacker-guilty-on-all-counts-in-attack-on-almanac-online

https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/cyber

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