Ex-Amazon Worker Convicted in Capital One Hacking


A former Amazon engineer who used to be accused of stealing shoppers’ non-public data from Capital One in one of the crucial biggest breaches in the USA used to be discovered accountable of cord fraud and hacking fees on Friday.

A Seattle jury discovered that Paige Thompson, 36, had violated an anti-hacking legislation referred to as the Pc Fraud and Abuse Act, which forbids get right of entry to to a pc with out authorization. The jury discovered her no longer accountable of id robbery and get right of entry to tool fraud.

Ms. Thompson had labored as a device engineer and ran a web-based group for different employees in her business. In 2019, she downloaded non-public data belonging to greater than 100 million Capital One shoppers. Her criminal crew argued that she had used the similar gear and techniques as moral hackers who hunt for device vulnerabilities and record them to corporations so they may be able to be mounted.

However the Justice Division stated that Ms. Thompson had by no means deliberate to alert Capital One to the issues that gave her get right of entry to to shoppers’ knowledge, and that she had bragged to her on-line pals in regards to the vulnerabilities she exposed and the tips she downloaded. Ms. Thompson extensively utilized her get right of entry to to Capital One’s servers to mine cryptocurrency, the Justice Division stated.

“She sought after knowledge, she sought after cash, and he or she sought after to gloat,” Andrew Friedman, an assistant U.S. legal professional, stated in remaining arguments.

Ms. Thompson’s case attracted consideration from the tech business as a result of the fees below the Pc Fraud and Abuse Act. Critics of the legislation have argued that it’s too vast and lets in for the prosecution of so-called white hat hackers. Final month, the Justice Division instructed prosecutors that they must not use the legislation to pursue hackers who engaged in “good-faith safety analysis.”

The jury deliberated for 10 hours sooner than discovering Ms. Thompson accountable of 5 counts of gaining unauthorized get right of entry to to a secure laptop and destructive a secure laptop, along with the cord fraud fees. She is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 15.

A legal professional for Ms. Thompson declined to remark at the verdict.

Capital One came upon the breach in July 2019 after a lady who had spoken with Ms. Thompson in regards to the knowledge reported the issue to Capital One. Capital One handed the tips to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Ms. Thompson used to be arrested quickly after.

Regulators stated Capital One lacked the safety measures it wanted to offer protection to shoppers’ data. In 2020, the financial institution agreed to pay $80 million to settle the ones claims. In December, it additionally agreed to pay $190 million to folks whose knowledge have been uncovered within the breach.

“Ms. Thompson used her hacking abilities to scouse borrow the private data of greater than 100 million folks, and hijacked laptop servers to mine cryptocurrency,” stated Nicholas W. Brown, the U.S. legal professional for the Western District of Washington, in a observation. “Some distance from being a moral hacker looking to assist corporations with their laptop safety, she exploited errors to scouse borrow treasured knowledge and sought to complement herself.”



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