A 30-year old Indian-origin man has pleaded guilty to intentionally accessing the protected computer of an information-technology firm and running a code which led to the deletion of 16,000 accounts and heavy losses for the company in 2018.
Sudhish Kasaba Ramesh pleaded guilty in the federal court of San Jose, California. He was charged last month with one count of intentionally accessing a protected computer without authorisation, United States Attorney David Anderson said.
According to the plea agreement, Ramesh admitted to intentionally accessing Cisco Systems’ cloud infrastructure that was hosted by Amazon Web Services without Cisco’s permission on September 24, 2018, according to a press release from the US Department of Justice.
Ramesh worked for Cisco and resigned in April 2018.
During his unauthorised access, Ramesh admitted that he deployed a code from his cloud project account that resulted in the deletion of 456 virtual machines for the IT company’s application, which provided video meetings, video messaging, file sharing, and other collaborative functions.
After Ramesh deployed the code, over 16,000 accounts were shut down for up to two weeks, and caused the company to spend approximately USD 1,400,000 in employee time to restore the damage to the application and refund over USD 1,000,000 to affected customers.
Ramesh was released on bond after bail was set at USD 50,000. Ramesh’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for December 2020. The maximum statutory penalty is five years imprisonment and a fine of USD 250,000.