A joint investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office in the state of New York and the FBI resulted in the arrest of an employee at a New York-based technology firm.
According to investigators, the employee abused his position as a senior developer to gain unauthorized access to his employer's computer systems; download several gigabytes of confidential files; and modify other files to conceal the theft. He then posed as a hacker and demanded nearly two million dollars in Bitcoin as ransom. When his employer refused to pay the ransom, the perpetrator released some of the files on a public platform.
The perpetrator, who worked in Oregon, used a virtual private network service to hide his IP address. However, while infiltrating his employer's systems, a brief power outage at his home exposed his IP address, and led investigators to his residence. Within days of the FBI seizing multiple electronic devices, the accused posted reports to the internet, posing as an inside whistleblower, stating the firm's system breach was due to a vulnerability. This misinformation about the situation resulted in a 20 percent drop in the value of the firm's stock.
The accused faces four federal charges and up to 37 years in prison. "Former Employee Of Technology Company Charged With Stealing Confidential Data And Extorting Company For Ransom While Posing As Anonymous Attacker" www.justice.gov (Dec. 01, 2021).