The Channel logo


By | John Oates 29th October 2008 13:11

Server saboteur gets six months

When sysadmins attack

A US systems administrator has been sentenced to six months in prison for sabotaging his ex-employer's servers.

Priyavrat H Patel, 42, of Berlin, Connecticut used to maintain four servers for screwdriver maker Pratt-Read Corp, until the company decided to move the machines.

On 25 November 2007 Patel remotely accessed the four machines and deleted files, making the machines inoperable. Presumably someone forgot to change the passwords.

Along with six months' chokey Patel gets three years' supervised release - the first six months of which he must serve at home. He must also pay $120,000 in restitution, but the judge may add extra fines, Computerworld reports. Patel had "had a few drinks" before getting into the servers on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. His actions knocked down the company's email, database and admin servers.

Patel pleaded guilty to one charge of computer intrusion in January.

Patel is just the latest of a long line of sysadmins who have taken umbrage with former employers. San Francisco was forced to stick one former sysadmin in jail to shakeout the passwords for its new network.

And last year, Yung-Hsun Lin pleaded guilty in US District Court in Newark, New Jersey to transmitting code that would cause damage to a protected computer in excess of $5,000. He got 30 months.

US Attorney's Office statement is here. ®

comment icon Read 13 comments on this article alert Send corrections


Frank Jennings

What do you do? Use manual typwriters or live in a Scottish croft? Our man advises
A rusty petrol pump at an abandoned gas station. Pic by Silvia B. Jakiello via shutterstock

Trevor Pott

Among other things, Active Directory needs an overhaul
Baby looks taken aback/shocked/affronted. Photo by Shutterstock

Kat Hall

Plans for 2 million FTTP connections in next four years 'not enough'
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella


League of gentlemen poster - Tubbs and Edward at the local shop. Copyright BBC
One reselling man tells his tale of woe