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[ISN] Man faces federal data tampering charge
BY ART AISNER
News Staff Reporter
May 09, 2007
An Ann Arbor man was federally charged Tuesday with hacking into the
computer system of his former employer in Waterford and tampering with
sensitive personal data, officials said.
Court documents allege that Joseph Patrick Nolan accessed the computer
system of Pentastar, which handles flight operations for several large
automotive companies in the state, and that he deleted critical
employment records about two weeks after he resigned in January. The
company told authorities the action caused roughly $34,000 in damages.
Also Tuesday, Nolan resigned from his job as a senior infrastructure
specialist in the Information Technology Department for the city of Ann
Arbor, according to a city official. Nolan was hired by Ann Arbor in
February at an annual salary of $75,000. He was expected to return to
work Tuesday after a vacation, but he instead resigned, said Tom
Crawford, the city's chief financial officer.
Nolan declined to discuss the case when he was reached by telephone
Nolan was arraigned in federal court in Detroit on one count of computer
intrusion. He was released on $10,000 personal bond. A preliminary
hearing was scheduled for May 29.
A complaint filed by the FBI charges that Nolan was upset about being
released from Pentastar sooner than he had anticipated. The documents
allege that Nolan gave a two-week notice Jan. 15 that he was resigning,
but two days later, company officials told him not return.
Representatives at Pentastar said he would be paid for those final two
weeks if he signed a separation agreement by Jan. 26, but he did not
sign the document, court documents indicate.
Officials with Pentastar told authorities that their firewall system was
compromised and an entire computer drive of personal employee
information was deleted, records stated.
The complaint charges that Nolan was one of only three people who knew
the needed passwords to log into the company's computer system at that
Federal investigators said they traced the intrusion to Nolan's Ann
Arbor apartment, which is served by multiple wireless networks.
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