The convicted man faces up to 10 years imprisonment for inserting malicious code into a US Military database.
Mittesh Das, a 48-year-old man from Atlanta Georgia, was recently convicted of attempting to sabotage a US Military computer network.
The conviction came followed a three-day trial.
Das was found guilty of planting a “logic bomb” by covertly inputting malicious code into a network linked with national security. According to experts, this code had the intention to cause damage. To date, the case has cost US taxpayers $2.6m in investigations and resolving fees.
He was found guilty by a grand jury in North Carolina. The crime in question took place three years ago. Das will be formally sentenced in January 2018.
Court filings which have only been recently released by the US justice department stated that the problem began in November 2014, when a system network for handling salaries of over 200 000 military employees, started to experience difficulties.
At first, officials blamed the errors on a glitch in the system. The network system in question is known as the Regional Level Application Software (RLAS).
The mysterious glitches caused US Military pay cheques to be up to 17 days late.
According to Lt. Col. William Ritter, spokesman for the reserve, all the functions, and features of the RLAS slowed down inexplicably. At the time, every function that the RLAS was responsible, had to be dealt with in a different manner.
A later investigation exposed several lines of possibly malicious code. This caused a wider probe that was launched and conducted by the US Military’s Criminal Investigation Command (CID).
The investigators uncovered that in the year 2012, a company was contracted for the oversight of the network system. This company had subcontracted Das to take several main responsibilities in this oversight.
However, the contract was ended soon after it was awarded to Das and his company, and was given to a different company as of 24 November 2014.
Investigators found that Das had managed to input malicious code into the system in the days leading up to the contract change. This code has been referred to multiple times as a logic bomb.
The malicious code came into effect the day after the contract changeover.
According to the Department of Justice, it was possible to correct the damages done. Experts had to remove malicious code as well as restore all the information in order to search for any hidden malicious code. The entire process costs a total of $2.6m.
United States attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, John Stuart Bruce, expressed his hope that this incident would serve as a cautionary tale to all would-be hackers. He emphasized that cyber-sabotage is not a prank and that any hacker would be brought to justice, as Das is now being held accountable for his acts.
Daniel Andrews, from the CID’s Computer Crime Unit, echoed this sentiment when he issued a similar warning. He added that the CID has a number of highly skilled investigators committed to rooting out this cybercriminal activity.
According to the DoJ, Das’s offense can be punishable by up to 10 years of imprisonment, a fine reaching up to $250 000, as well as a term of supervised release that can be up to three years.