Former Systems Administrator Charged with Intentionally Damaging Computers
BATON ROUGE, LA—United States Attorney Walt Green announced that former Georgia-Pacific IT specialist and systems administrator BRIAN P. JOHNSON, age 43, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was arrested this morning after his indictment last week by a federal grand jury for intentionally damaging protected computers. The indictment charges that, from February 14, 2014 through February 27, 2014, JOHNSON intentionally damaged protected computers and thereby caused more than $5000 in losses to Georgia-Pacific entities.
In an affidavit filed in support of an application for a warrant to search JOHNSON’s home, FBI Special Agent David B. Clarke alleged that, a few hours after JOHNSON’s employment was terminated by Georgia-Pacific on February 14, 2014, Georgia-Pacific computer systems were attacked from a computer address assigned to JOHNSON. Over the next several days, according to Special Agent Clarke, Georgia-Pacific experienced multiple system failures as a result of continued attacks believed to have been instigated by JOHNSON.
If JOHNSON is convicted of the charged offense, he faces a term of imprisonment of up to ten years and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the amount of loss suffered by Georgia-Pacific.
United States Attorney Green stated, “Cyber crime is one of the highest priorities of the Department of Justice. Attacks on computer systems threaten our security, our economy, and our privacy. Our office is committed to pursuing cyber criminals and to seeking justice and restitution for the companies and individuals they victimize.”
This matter is being investigated by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys M. Patricia Jones and Ryan R. Crosswell.
NOTE: An indictment is an accusation by the Grand Jury. A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless he is adjudicated guilty at trial or through a guilty plea.