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Sophos: Sacked worker hacks employer

January 2009 by Sophos

IT security and control firm Sophos is reminding businesses of the importance of properly safeguarding IT networks following news that a disgruntled IT worker has been convicted of hacking into his former employers’ network and planting spyware on his colleagues’ PCs.

Julius Oladiran, of South Norwood, London, lost his database developer job after his employers became suspicious about his lack of knowledge, and found that he had lied about having a master’s degree and experience on top government projects. Oladiran surreptitiously installed spyware on the small company’s network in an attempt to intercept email traffic about him, but was discovered when a worker noticed the cursor on his computer moving around the screen seemingly by its own accord. The hacker also deleted emails, sabotaging a project which led to job losses at the company.

Oladiran was today sentenced at Southwark Crown Court to a three-month jail sentence suspended for two years after admitting making a false statement and unauthorised access to computer information. He was also ordered to pay the unnamed company GBP 3,200 compensation.

“Although this case should act as a reminder to would-be hackers that long arm of the law will eventually catch up with them, employers should be asking themselves if the same thing could happen to them,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. “Every so often there is a story like this - where a member of IT staff feels that they have been unfairly dismissed, but find it all too easy to break back into the network and cause havoc. Businesses could easily prevent incidents like this with the correct mixture of policy and technology.”

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