A New Jersey man is facing charges of committing computer fraud and abuse by causing ransomware to be intentionally downloaded to computer systems, federal officials said.
Mayur Rele, 37, of Parsippany, NJ, ended up arrested Thursday and arraigned on charges two counts of committing computer fraud and abuse in federal court in the Southern District of New York before United States Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn. Each of which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years.
In August and September 2017, Rele was a senior manager of cloud and infrastructure in the information technology engineering department of an international technology company with its headquarters in New York, engaged in the business of travel booking, according to the indictment.
From at least August 25, 2017, up to and including on or about September 20, 2017, Rele caused another employee’s account to install Petya ransomware on a server belonging to the victim travel company, the indictment said.
As a result, some of the travel company’s computers ended up infected with Petya ransomware, thereby impairing the availability and integrity of the travel company’s data, systems, and information and causing it to incur losses to remediate the damage and restore its system, the indictment said.
Rele then deleted certain system logs related to the incident in order to avoid detection, the indictment said.
Later, from at least on or about September 15, 2017, up to and including on or about September 20, 2017, Rele, without authorization, caused a file that is used to organize and integrate data to be deleted from the travel company’s network that stored confidential and critical intellectual property, including source code and financial data in New York, New York.
As a result of this incident, the source code and financial data was not available to the travel company, which resulted in in lost ticket sales and remediation costs.
As with the ransomware incident, Rele then also deleted logs from a travel company server in order to avoid detection.