[ISN] St. Joseph man held as hacker

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Sun Dec 22 2002 - 23:33:10 PST

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    Forwarded from: William Knowles <wkat_private>
    December 21, 2002
    Federal indictment names Richard W. Gerhardt, 43, in unauthorized
    access case
    KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A St. Joseph man was indicted Thursday for
    unauthorized computer intrusion.
    Richard W. Gerhardt, 43, was charged in an indictment made public
    Friday. The indictment said he gained unauthorized access to the
    network computer system of Nestle USA. The crime is alleged to have
    occurred while Mr. Gerhardt was employed as an information- systems
    consultant working primarily at the Friskies Petcare plant in St.  
    Friskies Petcare is a corporate subsidiary of Nestle USA, which in
    turn is a subsidiary of Nestle S.A. of Vevey, Switzerland.
    On five separate occasions between Aug. 12, 2001, and June 10, 2002,
    the indictment alleges Mr. Gerhardt gained access to the Nestle
    network computer system without authorization. Mr. Gerhardt allegedly
    downloaded about 5,000 user account passwords from Nestle's system.  
    While on the system, Mr. Gerhardt allegedly stored the stolen
    passwords in another file.
    This is the first case of computer hacking ever prosecuted in the
    Western District of Missouri, which recently launched a new Cyber
    Crimes and Child Exploitation Unit, said U.S. Attorney Todd Graves.
    One of the unit's responsibilities is to handle computer intrusions,
    copyright and trademark violations, theft of trade secrets, economic
    espionage and Internet fraud. Computer intrusion or "hacking" cases
    typically involve matters such as unauthorized access to computer
    systems by employees, attacks resulting in service outages, system
    penetrations by outsiders, theft of proprietary information, and
    sabotage of data or networks.
    These cases include intrusions into commercial or private computer
    systems as well as government computer systems where sensitive or
    national security information may be compromised, said Don Ledford, a
    spokesman for Mr. Graves' office.
    The various offices and facilities of Nestle USA and Nestle S.A.  
    throughout the United States and the world, including the Friskies
    Petcare plant in St. Joseph, are linked together by a network computer
    system, said Burton Taylor, a spokesman for Mr. Graves' office.
    Any computer or server connected to that system, Mr. Graves said, is a
    "protected computer" under federal law.
    Because of Mr. Gerhardt's alleged attack on the computer system,
    Nestle had to conduct a damage assessment, verify the security and
    restore computer integrity, Mr. Ledford said.
    Mr. Gerhardt was arrested Friday and taken before U.S. Magistrate
    Judge Sarah W. Hays for an initial court appearance.
    Assistant U.S. Attorney Gene Porter is prosecuting the case. The
    Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case. No date has
    been set for a trial.
    "Communications without intelligence is noise;  Intelligence
    without communications is irrelevant." Gen Alfred. M. Gray, USMC
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