Disgruntled ex-employee pleads guilty to trashing credit union computers

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The United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, more informally known as the Federal Court of Brooklyn, in downtown Brooklyn. Photo: Rob Abruzzese / Brooklyn Eagle

Juliana Barile pleaded guilty in Brooklyn Federal Court to one count of computer intrusion on Tuesday after breaking into a credit union’s website and destroying valuable data on the site after being fired as a employee of the credit union.

The guilty plea took place before US District Judge Eric N. Vitaliano. Once convicted, Barile faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine.

Barile was fired from her part-time job at the unnamed credit union on May 19, 2021, according to court documents. Two days later, on May 21, she remotely accessed the credit union‘s file server and deleted over 20,000 files and nearly 3,500 directories, totaling approximately 21.3 gigabytes of data. The deleted data included files related to mortgage loan applications and the credit union’s ransomware protection software. Barile also opened confidential files. After accessing the computer server without authorization and destroying files, Barile texted a friend explaining that “I deleted their shared network documents”, referring to the credit union’s share drive.

To date, the credit union has spent approximately $ 10,000 to remedy Barile’s intrusion and unauthorized data destruction.

U.S. District Judge Eric Vitaliano, EDNY
Eagle archival photo
Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of NY Jacquelyn M. Kasulis
Photo courtesy of the United States Attorney’s Office

Jacquelyn M. Kasulis, acting United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Michael J. Driscoll, deputy director in charge of the FBI’s field office in New York, announced the guilty plea.

“In an act of revenge for being fired, Barile surreptitiously accessed the computer system of his former employer, a New York credit union, and deleted mortgage applications and other sensitive information kept on his server. files, ”Acting US Attorney Kasulis said. “Protecting private financial data from being compromised or destroyed by unauthorized computer intrusions is a high priority for this office. “

Ms. Barile may have thought she would get revenge on her employer by deleting files, but she hurt clients just as much. Her little revenge not only created a huge security risk for the bank, but the dependent clients as well. paperwork and approvals to pay for their house got scrambled, “FBI Deputy Director Driscoll said.” An internal threat can wreak as much, if not more, than an external criminal.

The Eastern District of New York Cybercrime Task Force was formed in May 2021 to address cybercrime, which is proliferating in the United States as well as internationally. The objectives of the working group are to initiate cybercrime investigations and prosecutions, disseminate information on emerging cybercrime issues and trends, and increase awareness of a wide variety of cybercrime schemes. He works with the FBI, the United States Secret Service, Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and others.

The government’s case is being handled by the US Attorney’s Office Cybercrime Task Force and the National Security and Cybercrime Section. Deputy prosecutors for the United States, David K. Kessler and Meredith A. Arfa, are responsible for the prosecution.

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