A former Larimer County, CO, resident, seeking revenge over a drunk driving arrest, is now facing federal charges he crippled the county’s computer network in 2010 with a huge denial of service (DoS) attack.
A federal grand jury indicted David Joseph Rezendes, 27, who currently lives in California, last week on charges related to a denial of service attack implemented to retaliate against the Larimer County government. Law enforcement called the overwhelming computer attack “debilitating” to the county’s network. If convicted, Rezendes could get close to 30 years in federal prison.
Police captured Rezendes at an August 23 Sonora, TX, traffic stop. The federal government wants him detained and returned to Colorado by U.S. Marshals.
Rezendes was angry with the Larimer County government over a drunk driving charge he received while living in the county and wanted revenge, according to local Colorado news reports.
According to the indictment and other court records, beginning on Sept. 22, 2010, the denial of service attack –which overwhelms computer servers and networks with repeated automated requests — launched against Larimer County government’s computer network. The attack lasted until September 24, 2010, affecting Larimer County employees’ ability to access their email and the Internet, including state computer systems.
The Larimer County Sheriff’s Department and the FBI investigated the attack. As part of their investigation, law enforcement executed a search warrant of Rezendes’ home, according to the FBI. Officials seized computers and computer components, and FBI case agents and Larimer County Sheriff’s Department computer forensic experts analyzed the data on the computers, uncovering evidence Rezendes was responsible.
The indictment said Rezendes intentionally damaged a protected computer, possessed unauthorized access devices (credit card information), possessed an identification document-making implement, produced a false identification document, and committed aggravated identity theft.
“The computer attack in this case had a significant impact on Larimer County both operationally and financially,” said Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith. “Cyber crimes of this nature underscore the importance of cooperation between local and federal officials and the need for their expertise and assistance.”
If convicted, Rezendes faces up to 10 years and a $250,000 fine for one count of intentionally damaging a protected computer and one count of possession of unauthorized access device. He also faces up to15 years and up to a $250,000 fine for possession of document-making implement and authentication feature and of production of a false identification document. He also faces up to two more years’ consecutive to any other sentence and up to a $250,000 fine for aggravated identity theft, the FBI said.