A California man has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison for hacking an Atlanta-based company and trying to extort money in exchange for the return of the company’s intellectual property.
A federal referee told Christian William Kight, 29, of San Clemente, to serve seven years and eight months in prison, followed by three years of supervised liberate, federal prosecutors said in a news release Wednesday. Kight was also ordered to pay a $900 fine and $42,000 in restitution.
Kight, also known as Drillo, was sentenced last week after pleading guilty in December to commissions of coercion, computer fraud and cable fraud.
“This defendant obstructed behind his computer to extort companies in this district and elsewhere, ” U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak said. “This case highlights the positive outcomes that are possible for businesses and the community when the private sector works with law enforcement to produce cyber criminals to justice.”
Kight accessed computer networks and servers of variou companies and organizations in Georgia without permission, lawyers said. He camouflaged his identity and took data file and removed data and log files. He then referred emails necessitating money to release the company’s data, prosecutors said.
When the company said it planned to contact law enforcement, Kight threatened to send letters that could harm its reputation to its clients and to propagate the theft data, counsels said. But the company contacted the FBI anyway, and reviewers distinguished Kight. A examination of his computer material and email report turned up evidence for this crime and a scheme to extort other victims.
“Kight’s scheme against this firm is unfortunately all too common and spotlights the ever-growing need to remain vigilant in cybersecurity efforts”, said Chris Hacker, who heads the FBI’s Atlanta office.
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