Denied promotion, programmer fries power supply manufacturer's computers

Energy // New York, United States

After Michael Meneses, a longtime employee of Spellman High Voltage Electronics Corporation, was passed over for promotions, company computers went haywire.

Fed up, the software programmer for the power supplies manufacturer gave two weeks’ notice and resigned in January 2012. The company cut off his access to company servers.

“Soon odd things started happening. Employees at Spellman began reporting that they were unable to process routine transactions and were receiving error messages. An applicant for his old position received an e-mail from an anonymous address, warning him, ‘Don’t accept any position.’ And the company’s business calendar was changed by a month, throwing production and finance operations into disorder.”

The mayhem cost the company $90,000, allege federal prosecutors who are accusing him of hacking.

“Investigators traced the e-mail account used to warn off the applicant for his old job to an Internet protocol address that belonged to Mr. Meneses’s new employer. They traced the changes to the company calendar to a hotel in Cary, N.C., a short distance from Mr. Meneses’s new job. Records from the hotel showed that he was staying there at the time of the online attack.”

Additional Computerworld report