Ex-Gucci IT worker charged with computer hacking

An IT engineer fired by Gucci hacked into the company’s servers, deleting data and shutting down its email and other IT services in a revenge attack estimated to have cost the upmarket retailer around £125,000, Manhattan prosecutors allege.

Sam Chihlung Yin, 34 and from Jersey City, is accused of having secretly created a user account for himself in the name of a fictional employee while working at Gucci, giving him continued access to the company’s IT servers after he was sacked for an unrelated incident in May last year.

He is said to have used the account and administrator passwords he had taken with him to hack into its corporate servers for around six months. On one day in November last year, he allegedly deleted servers, shut down storage areas and wiped mailboxes on the Gucci America system. He is also said to have shut down the network for the whole day, preventing employees from accessing any documents, files or other materials saved anywhere on its network.

The New York County District Attorney’s office, which is prosecuting the case, said in a statement: “Yin’s destruction of data from the e-mail server cut off the e-mail access not only of corporate staff, but also of store managers across the country and the e-commerce sales team – resulting in thousands of dollars in lost sales.”

IT security expert Graham Cluley underlined the importance of changing passwords and resetting access rights when members of staff leave, adding that there is “definitely the possibility” that future attacks could expose customers’ data.

“Disgruntled employees could take customer databases with them when they leave. Some have even planted logic bombs in databases which only they can diffuse so, if they are ever fired, whole databases could be obliterated or transmitted.”

He added: “People do, of course, leave jobs all the time and most of them would never dream of logging back in to their old place of work to cause mischief. But it only takes one disaffected former worker to wreak havoc – so make sure your defences are in place, and that only authorised users can access your sensitive systems.

Last year, a former employee of US investment bank Fannie Mae planted malicious codes designed to destroy information on the company’s servers after being fired.

Mr Yin is charged with computer tampering, identity theft, falsifying business records, computer trespass, criminal possession of computer-related material, unlawful duplication of computer-related material, and unauthorised use of a computer, according to an indictment filed in a Manhattan court.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Personal Tax Senior

£28000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer and Markets Development Executive

£22000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company's mission is to ma...

Recruitment Genius: Guest Services Assistant

£13832 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This 5 star leisure destination on the w...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Account Manager

£20000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Account Manager is requ...

Day In a Page

Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border