Rogue IT Admin Jailed For Sabotaging Ex-Employer's Computer Network

Pappi Hex

A Minnesota US District Judge has sentenced a former IT administrator to 366 days in jail for sabotaging his former employer's computer network.

Christopher Victor Grupe, 45, a former employee at the Canadian Pacific Railway was said to have a difficult relationship with his employers. Grupe was suspended for 12 days in December 2015 for insubordination. When he resumed work, he was told that his services were no longer needed and this didn't go down well with him

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Grupe had other motives and so didn't want to leave the company as a sacked worker but as someone who reigned so as in the case of an event happening, he won't be a suspect. Grupe however, managed to convince his employers who then let him to quite instead of the initial sack they had for him.

The ex-IT admin agreed to return all the companies properties that were with him, such as laptop, access badges and remote access authentication token. But then he used his work notebook and credentials to log into CPR's computer network switches and then began to mess things up.

According to the US District court, Grupe changed the passwords for some accounts on the network, removed the administrator-level-accounts and then deleted some key files on the networking hardware.

To cover his tracks, he destroyed all the logs, wiped the laptop he used to commit the offence and then handed it back.

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On January 5, part of the systems went down and the IT staff at CPR tried to login to the switch but found that they had no access to it. The IT staff had to factory reset all the switches to regain access to the equipment.

The incident made the management to call in forensics experts who investigated the cause and found traces of Grupe's meddling in the switches memory storage. Police reviewed the forensic report and evidence from the ex-employees laptop and then proceeded with the charges against Grupe which is one count of intentional damage to a protected computer.

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