Recent Prosecution of Home Security Technician Highlights Feds Crack Down on Cybersecurity Crimes
In today’s high-tech society, privacy has never been more important. As technological developments now allow things we once never thought were possible, state and federal laws quickly become outdated. However, federal law enforcement agents are constantly on the lookout for those who invade the privacy of others. This is especially the case for those who have access to private data by virtue of their position, whether it be information, pictures or video.
Recently, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas announced the sentencing of a security technician who repeatedly hacked into customers’ video feeds. According to the announcement, the man received a sentence of 52 months in federal prison.
Evidently, the man was employed as a security technician for ADT, the popular home security company. The U.S. Attorney claims that he repeatedly added his own email address to customers’ accounts, which gave him real-time access to the video surveillance in their homes. According to the allegations, the man would tell some customers that he needed to add his email to their account to perform necessary maintenance. However, the U.S. Attorney also claims that he surreptitiously added his own email without the customers’ knowledge.
Making this case more serious is the fact that the man selectively chose women he found to be attractive. The evidence suggested that he accessed more than 200 customers’ accounts, viewing the videos more than 9,500 times. In the plea agreement, the man admitted that he would watch videos of naked women and couples having sex for his own sexual gratification.
The man was charged with several counts of computer fraud and faced up to five years in prison. Rather than take the case to trial, the security technician entered a guilty plea in which he acknowledged responsibility for the offenses. In exchange for his plea, he received a slightly mitigated sentence of 52 months incarceration. One of the alleged victims provided a victim-impact statement to the court at the time of sentencing, explaining, “This deliberate and calculated invasion of privacy is arguably more harmful than if I had installed no security system and my house had been burglarized…This sick and corrupt individual’s actions will have a lasting emotional and mental toll on me.”
This case illustrates both the vigor with which these prosecutions proceed, as well as the challenges those facing these allegations face when defending against them. In a case such as this one, there was clear evidence that the security technician unlawfully accessed customers’ accounts, making it challenging to come up with a viable defense. However, it is essential to remember that, even when a case seems open-and-shut, there is always benefit to working with an experienced cybersecurity defense attorney.
For example, in some cases, evidence law enforcement obtained and intends to use against a defendant may have been seized in violation of their constitutional rights. There could also be issues related to an unauthorized third-party’s use of a defendant’s device. Finally, although the sentencing guidelines guide the federal courts, there is often significant room for negotiation when it comes to enhancements and mitigating factors.
Are You Facing Cybersecurity Charges?
If you or a loved one faces charges related to a breach of cybersecurity or computer fraud, the federal defense attorneys at Oberheiden, P.C. can help. Our attorneys have centuries of experience working closely with clients in some of the most complex and cutting-edge cases. Several of our attorneys are former high-ranking officials with the federal government and now use the knowledge they gained from these positions to advocate on behalf of those facing serious federal crimes. Whether Oberheiden, P.C. is fighting to keep evidence out of trial, working with investigators to limit the scope of an investigation, or negotiating with prosecutors to secure a favorable outcome without the need for a trial, we have what it takes to defend your future and your freedom. To learn more, and to schedule a consultation with a cybersecurity defense lawyer at Oberheiden P.C., give us a call at 713-597-3388 today. You can also reach us through our online contact form. We represent clients nationwide.
Dr. Nick Oberheiden, founder of Oberheiden P.C., focuses his litigation practice on white-collar criminal defense, government investigations, SEC & FCPA enforcement, and commercial litigation.