IT worker let spammers into ex-employer's servers

A man has been sentenced to a year in prison for turning his former employer's e-mail servers into open relay systems for spammers.

An IT manager who logged onto to his former employer's computer network five months after being fired and opened the e-mail server up to spammers has been sentenced to one year in prison.

Steven Barnes had earlier pleaded guilty to computer intrusion charges, saying in a plea agreement that he accessed servers at a San Mateo, California, Internet media company called Akimbo Systems and turned the company's mail system into an open mail server that spammers could use to send out messages. He also deleted the company's Microsoft Exchange e-mail database and files that the computer needed in order to boot up.

In a letter to the presiding judge, Barnes said that he had battled drug and alcohol addictions at the time, and was upset after Akimbo representatives showed up at his door in April 2003 -- one carrying a baseball bat -- and taken both his work and personal computers.

He logged onto company servers on Sept. 30 after trying an old password that had been valid before he was fired. "To my complete disbelief, I soon realized... they had no firewall and the passwords were not even changed," he said.

Employees at Akimbo, which operated under the name Blue Falcon Networks at the time, were unable to send or receive email or look up old messages for days, and the company was also blacklisted by an anti-spam organization, federal prosecutors said in court filings.

On Thursday a federal judge in California ordered Barnes to serve a year and a day in prison and pay US$54,000 in restitution to Akimbo Systems. After his release, Barnes will serve three years probation.

He is scheduled to report to prison on January 8.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags spamcrime

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?