Former Amazon employee convicted of stealing data from more than 100M people (NCD)
SEATTLE — A former Amazon Web Services engineer was found guilty Friday of stealing data from more than 100 million people when she hacked Capital One three years ago.
Paige Thompson, who worked for the software giant until 2016, was convicted Friday of seven federal crimes, including wire fraud, illegally accessing a protected computer and damaging a protected computer, CNBC reported.
While the wire fraud conviction carries up to 20 years in prison, the two lessor charges are each punishable by as many as five years in prison.
According to a news release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s western district of Washington, the jury found Thompson not guilty of aggravated identity theft and access device fraud. The panel deliberated for 10 hours.
Prosecutors argued at trial that Thompson created a tool to search for misconfigured AWS accounts, allowing her to hack into accounts from more than 30 Amazon clients, including Capital One. In addition to mining the data she found in the compromised accounts, Thompson was also accused of using her access to some of the retail behemoth’s servers to mine cryptocurrency for her personal benefit, CNBC reported.
“She wanted data, she wanted money, and she wanted to brag,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Friedman said of Thompson during his closing arguments, the network reported.
According to The Verge, Thompson’s breach, one of the largest on record, exposed the names, birth dates, social security numbers, email addresses and phone numbers of more than 100 million U.S. and Canadian residents.
Capital One has since been fined $80 million in regulatory fines for allegedly failing to secure users’ data and settled with affected customers for $190 million, the technology news outlet reported.
“Far from being an ethical hacker trying to help companies with their computer security, (Thompson) exploited mistakes to steal valuable data and sought to enrich herself,” U.S. Attorney Nick Brown stated in the news release confirming her conviction.
Thompson is slated to be sentenced Sept. 15.
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