http://www.uniontrib.com/news/computing/20020626-9999_1b26spam.html By Matt Krasnowski COPLEY NEWS SERVICE June 26, 2002 LOS ANGELES - A former Del Mar man was found guilty yesterday of one count of computer "spamming" that stems from a flood of e-mail messages he sent that shut down the computer system of his former employer, El Segundo-based Tornado Development Inc. Bret McDanel, 29, was convicted by U.S. District Judge Lourdes Baird after a nine-day trial without a jury. Baird did not elaborate on her decision, other than to say the government proved its case "beyond a reasonable doubt." Baird scheduled McDanel's sentencing for Sept. 16. He faces a maximum five-year prison term and is in custody. Prosecutors allege that McDanel sought revenge against his former company and electronically attacked Tornado's computer in August and September 2000. Tornado provides subscribers with access to e-mails, voice messages, faxes and pages. McDanel quit the company in February 2000 and went to work for another firm. Prosecutors contend that he decided to strike at Tornado after learning the company was planning to acquire his new employer. The government alleged that McDanel hacked into Tornado's server, then sent thousands of e-mail messages at practically the same time, forcing the company to shut down its computer system. McDanel's lawyers said their client did not intend to harm the company. They argued that he was a "whistle-blower" who sent the e-mail messages to warn Tornado customers about a hole in the company's computer security system that could give other people access to their credit-card numbers. But in her summation, Assistant U.S. Attorney Pamela Johnston argued that McDanel's "intention was to create a disruption" at Tornado on Sept. 5, 2000, by sending thousands of e-mails to the server. Among those messages were 1,900 to his own e-mail address; a move that prosecutors said served no purpose but to overload Tornado's system. Johnston said McDanel committed a similar computer attack against a New Jersey company he worked for in 1997. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremy Matz said the loss to Tornado was roughly $9,000. That is far below the $325,000 the FBI reported initially. Johnston and Matz had no comment about the first loss estimate. Gerald Salseda, a deputy federal public defender who represented McDanel, said it is against his office's policy to comment publicly about cases. - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
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