By Robert McMillan
IDG News Service
04 November 2008
An IT manager who logged onto to his former employer's computer network
five months after being fired and opened the email server up to spammers
has been sentenced to one year in prison.
Steven Barnes had earlier pleaded guilty to computer intrusion charges,
saying in a plea agreement that he accessed servers at a San Mateo,
California, Internet media company called Akimbo Systems and turned the
company's mail system into an open mail server that spammers could use
to send out messages.
He also deleted the company's Microsoft Exchange email database and
files that the computer needed in order to boot up.
In a letter to the presiding judge, Barnes said that he had battled drug
and alcohol addictions at the time, and was upset after Akimbo
representatives showed up at his door in April 2003 - one carrying a
baseball bat - and took both work and personal computers from him.
He logged onto company servers on September 30 after trying an old
password that had been valid before he was fired. "To my complete
disbelief, I soon realised... they had no firewall and the passwords
were not even changed," he said.
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