A former Amazon engineer who was accused of stealing customers’ personal information from Capital One in one of many largest breaches in america was discovered responsible of wire fraud and hacking prices on Friday.
A Seattle jury discovered that Paige Thompson, 36, had violated an anti-hacking legislation often called the Pc Fraud and Abuse Act, which forbids entry to a pc with out authorization. The jury discovered her not responsible of identification theft and entry machine fraud.
Ms. Thompson had labored as a software program engineer and ran an internet neighborhood for different employees in her trade. In 2019, she downloaded private info belonging to greater than 100 million Capital One clients. Her authorized group argued that she had used the identical instruments and strategies as moral hackers who hunt for software program vulnerabilities and report them to corporations to allow them to be fastened.
However the Justice Division stated that Ms. Thompson had by no means deliberate to alert Capital One to the issues that gave her entry to clients’ knowledge, and that she had bragged to her on-line buddies concerning the vulnerabilities she uncovered and the knowledge she downloaded. Ms. Thompson additionally used her entry to Capital One’s servers to mine cryptocurrency, the Justice Division stated.
“She needed knowledge, she needed cash, and she or he needed to brag,” Andrew Friedman, an assistant U.S. legal professional, stated in closing arguments.
Ms. Thompson’s case attracted consideration from the tech trade due to the costs underneath the Pc Fraud and Abuse Act. Critics of the legislation have argued that it’s too broad and permits for the prosecution of so-called white hat hackers. Final month, the Justice Department informed prosecutors that they need to now not use the legislation to pursue hackers who engaged in “good-faith safety analysis.”
The jury deliberated for 10 hours earlier than discovering Ms. Thompson responsible of 5 counts of gaining unauthorized entry to a protected pc and damaging a protected pc, along with the wire fraud prices. She is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 15.
A lawyer for Ms. Thompson declined to touch upon the decision.
Capital One found the breach in July 2019 after a lady who had spoken with Ms. Thompson concerning the knowledge reported the issue to Capital One. Capital One handed the knowledge to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Ms. Thompson was arrested quickly after.
“Ms. Thompson used her hacking expertise to steal the private info of greater than 100 million folks, and hijacked pc servers to mine cryptocurrency,” stated Nicholas W. Brown, the U.S. legal professional for the Western District of Washington, in an announcement. “Removed from being an moral hacker making an attempt to assist corporations with their pc safety, she exploited errors to steal invaluable knowledge and sought to counterpoint herself.”