A Tucson, AZ, man pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to intentionally causing damage to a protected computer.
Jonathan Hartwell Wolberg, 31, of Tucson, formerly worked as a systems administrator for a company identified as Company A, a cloud-computing services provider headquartered in the Eastern District of Virginia.
After resigning, Wolberg continued to enter the networks of Company A for the purpose of damaging its servers, its reputation, and its business, according to the plea.
From about March 16, 2012 through about August 1, 2012, Wolberg encouraged Company A’s customers to leave and secretly logged into Company A’s server to issue a shutdown command to a key data server, according to the court records.
As a result, he shut down Company A’s customer networks, making key information — including that of hospitals responsible for surgery and other urgent patient care — unavailable for at least several hours. Wolberg caused hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage as a result, the records said.
Dana J. Boente, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Washington Field Office, made the announcement after United States District Judge Liam O’Grady accepted the plea.
Wolberg ended up indicted August 22, 2013, by a federal grand jury on charges related to computer hacking. Wolberg faces a maximum penalty of 10 years’ in prison when he undergoes sentencing April 11.
The FBI investigated the case. Assistant United States Attorney Alexander T.H. Nguyen and Trial Attorney Richard D. Green, on detail from the Justice Department’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section, prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.