Disgruntled Employee Sabotages Computer Company Via Laptop

Disgruntled Employee Sabotages Computer Company Via Laptop

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News Specialist Stacey Butler reportingHe was hired to protect a local computer company from hackers, but police say he ended up committing cybersabotage.

It's an unusual case of high-tech vandalism reported today in the Deseret News that's costing a Utah County company at least $20,000 a day.

Without drawing a weapon, a disgruntled employee holds the computer company that fired him hostage. And he did it all from his laptop.

The computer sytems administrator was hired to protect an Internet computer company from hackers.

"He told me before previously that we would never, should dare think about laying him off because he was all that stood between us and the outside world, and I said, 'what do you mean by that?'" says co-worker Brandon Atkinson.

"And he said, 'hackers, plus me deleting all the software on the servers," Atkinson says.

But 33-year-old Jonathan Shaw was fired for using the company computer server to pirate copies of movies and television shows.

"Somebody like this really has a lot of power if he chooses to, to take down the company," says Lt. Darren Falslev with the American Fork Police Department.

And that's exactly what he did.

Police say Shaw changed the company wall of new hardware passwords to the server, then planted a timed virus.

"All of our Internet business and e-commerce business was basically blown out of the water," Atkinson says.

Since Thursday, the company and the hundreds of businesses it serves has been shut down.

"We've been losing an average of $25,000 to $35,000 a day in business," says company owner Alma Tuck.

Police say Shaw gave the password to at least five people from California to England.

"By opening up this system like he did, he has allowed them access to everything -- company secrets, customers' records."

The owner says he shut the system down before hackers were successful. But he's shocked that an employee hired to thwart hackers himself turned out to be more dangerous than any outside sabotuer.

"When you hire somebody and you pay them month after month to try to protect you, and they become the ones that take you down, it really hits home. It makes you feel extremely vulnerable," Tuck says.

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