|January 10, 2008|
ATLANTA - A federal judge sentenced a Norcross man to five months in prison and five months of home confinement for hacking into his former employer's computer and telecommunications' network.
William Bryant, 38, was sentenced Thursday, Jan. 10 by U.S. District Judge Thomas W. Thrash on a charge of hacking-knowingly causing the transmission of information to a computer used in interstate commerce, and, as a result, intentionally and without authorization causing damage to that computer.
According to U.S. Attorney David E. Nahmias and the information presented in court, Bryant is a former employee of Cox Communications, which operates a computer and telecommunications network throughout the United States.
After being asked to resign his position with Cox, Bryant remotely shut down portions of the company's system, causing a loss of computer and telecommunications services, including access to 911 emergency services, for Cox customers in Texas, Las Vegas, New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Cox technicians restored service within hours.
"Hacking, or intruding into and causing damage to a computer system, is a serious federal offense," Nahmias said. "Hacking causes particular dangers to our nation's critical infrastructure and we will prosecute such attacks aggressively."
In addition to his prison term and home confinement, Bryant must spend two years in supervised release, perform 200 hours of community service and pay restitution of $15,470.
Bryant pleaded guilty to the charges Sept. 26, 2007.
This case was investigated by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lawrence R. Sommerfeld prosecuted the case.