Feds: Imprisoning Sys Admin a Mistake

By Deane Barker on October 16, 2003

Federal prosecutors admit error in conviction of computer admin: This guy served 16 months. The federal prosecutor is essentially admitting his mistake in reversing the conviction. It doesn’t get the 16 months back, but I’m sure it opens the door to a snazzy little wrongful imprisonment lawsuit.

McDanel was a systems administrator for Tornado and discovered a way to break into the computer’s security system and gain access to customer accounts. McDanel told his employers the system should be fixed, ‘but Tornado declined to do so,’ Cheng said.

After leaving the company, McDanel ‘sent three e-mail attacks’ to warn customers the company’s computer system was vulnerable to hackers. The e-mails caused the company’s system to crash and caused a $5,000 loss, Cheng said.