A Florida man who stole personal information from a consumer database company in what federal officials say is the largest case of data theft ever was convicted on Friday. In total, over 1.5 billion data files were stolen from the company’s servers.
Scott Levine of Boca Raton stole the data files in order to use the personal information contained within to benefit his company. Levine ran Snipermail.com, Inc., a bulk e-mail service. The theft occurred over 16 months from April 2002 to August 2003.
According to prosecutors, Levine exploited a security flaw within Acxiom’s servers to obtain the information. While millions of consumers had their personal data stolen, there were no reports of identity theft stemming from the theft.
Much of the evidence against Levine was obtained through the testimonies of former Snipermail employees. Levine’s attorneys argued that he was framed by those former employees who actually perpetrated the Acxiom theft.
In total, Levine was convicted of 120 counts of theft by computer, two fraud counts and one count of obstruction of justice. Each theft count carries a maximum sentence of 5 years and a $250,000 fine, fraud 10 years and $250,000 in fines, and obstruction of justice 20 years and $250,000 in fines.
There was some good news for Levine in the conviction – a jury found him not guilty of money-laundering and conspiracy charges.
Acxiom says that the flaw in its servers has been fixed.
News source: Betanews