By Violet Law
September 1, 2005
A computer networking consultant hacked into a Beaver County school
district's system to peek at a competitor's bids, but didn't escape
without leaving tracks, police said Wednesday.
Police charged Brooks M. Roy, 25, of Cranberry, with breaking into the
e-mail system he helped design and install for the South Side Beaver
Roy admitted to police that he hacked into the system from his home
computer, retrieving confidential bids filed by a competitor,
according to court documents.
Roy worked on the district's system for Communications Consulting
Inc., a New Sewickley, Beaver County, information technology firm. He
was still with the company at the time of the break-in, and still had
a voice mail account in the firm's phone system yesterday.
According to court records:
The district's technology coordinator, Thomas Sherry, discovered in
May that someone had logged into the district's e-mail server and
accessed his e-mail without authorization. Police said they tracked
Roy down using his IP address, a numeric address given to a computer
connected to the Internet.
Attempts to contact Roy, Communications Consulting and school
officials were unsuccessful.
Roy does computer work for more than one district, but authorities
were not aware of his hacking into other schools' systems, said state
police Cpl. John Stephansky, who investigated the case. Police rely on
reports from people such as Sherry to track down computer crimes, he
Ambridge School District technology director James LaSalle praised
both Roy's work and his ethics. LaSalle said he has known Roy for
about eight years, and contracted with Communications Consulting for
data and voice networking.
"I think his ethics and his professional conduct are beyond reproach.
He's top shelf," LaSalle said. "I have no reason to question their
service or integrity."
Communications Consulting's Web site says the company "specializes in
the design, sales and service of communications systems for data,
voice and video networks."
Roy was arraigned yesterday before Cranberry District Judge Kelly
Streib and released on his own recognizance. He is charged with
computer trespass, criminal use of a communication facility and
unlawful use of computers.
Sept 16-18th, 2005
San Diego, California