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Former employee of luxury retailer charged in 50-count computer crime indictment

A former computer technician at the US headquarters of Gucci has been indicted for remotely hacking into the fashion brand’s network after his employment was terminated. 

Sam Chihlung Yin was fired from Gucci in May 2010 for abusing his employee discount and selling goods in Asia for a profit.

According to court documents filed at an indictment hearing on Monday, Yin is accused of using a virtual private network (VPN) token he had created for the account of a fictional employee before he was sacked to then use its privileged access rights to have free access to the company’s network.

Inflicting corporate damage

On 12 November 2010 he also allegedly shut down servers and deleting emails – bringing the network to a standstill for more than a day and causing over $200,000 (£122,737) of damage due to lost productivity and remedial costs.

Yin, 34 of New Jersey, US, has been charged in a 50-count indictment of unauthorised access using a computer, unlawful duplication of computer-related material and other charges. He pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against him.

Adam Bosnian, executive vice president at Cyber-Ark, commented: “This case emphasises all too clearly the damage that can ensue from a failure to effectively lock down and defend the corporate network.

“The granting of privileged access – whereby employees have access to the entire network and act as the most powerful IT users in an organisation – is unavoidable. But organisations can take precautions and implement solutions, which monitor access to the network, thereby tracking any irregular activity and putting a stop to any anomalies before they turn into a corporate disaster.

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