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[ISN] Norcross hacker sent to prison


January 10, 2008

ATLANTA - A federal judge sentenced a Norcross man to five months in 
prison and five months of home confinement for hacking into his former 
employer's computer and telecommunications' network.

William Bryant, 38, was sentenced Thursday, Jan. 10 by U.S. District 
Judge Thomas W. Thrash on a charge of hacking-knowingly causing the 
transmission of information to a computer used in interstate commerce, 
and, as a result, intentionally and without authorization causing damage 
to that computer.

According to U.S. Attorney David E. Nahmias and the information 
presented in court, Bryant is a former employee of Cox Communications, 
which operates a computer and telecommunications network throughout the 
United States.

After being asked to resign his position with Cox, Bryant remotely shut 
down portions of the company's system, causing a loss of computer and 
telecommunications services, including access to 911 emergency services, 
for Cox customers in Texas, Las Vegas, New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Cox 
technicians restored service within hours.

"Hacking, or intruding into and causing damage to a computer system, is 
a serious federal offense," Nahmias said. "Hacking causes particular 
dangers to our nation's critical infrastructure and we will prosecute 
such attacks aggressively."

In addition to his prison term and home confinement, Bryant must spend 
two years in supervised release, perform 200 hours of community service 
and pay restitution of $15,470.

Bryant pleaded guilty to the charges Sept. 26, 2007.

This case was investigated by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of 
Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lawrence R. Sommerfeld prosecuted 
the case.

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