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Airport limo firm allegedly hobbled by revenge hack
Kevin Poulsen, SecurityFocus 2003-02-20

A former network administrator for a Los Angeles airport transportation company was arrested Thursday on charges that he hacked into his ex-employer's computers and wiped out critical data -- allegedly as revenge for his termination from the company.



According to prosecutors, last month Alan Giang Tran hacked into systems shared by the jointly-owned Airline Coach Service and Sky Limousine companies, where he changed users' passwords, erased applications, deleted the companies' customer database, and shut down their credit card processing system.

The hack allegedly prevented both companies from dispatching drivers for a time, causing thousands of dollars in lost revenue. Investigators searching Tran's home last week allegedly found information on the companies' systems, and a file folder marked "retaliation."

Tran was released on $10,000 bail Thursday, with restricted access to computers. He's set to return to court on March 17th for arraignment. He could not be reached for comment.

A spokesperson for the two companies declined to comment on the case. It is not known if the companies routinely made backup copies of their customer data -- a common practice.

Earlier this month, prosecutors in Los Angeles charged a former network administrator at monitor-maker Viewsonic with intruding into that company's systems and deleting files critical to its overseas operations, allegedly in retaliation for his termination two weeks earlier.

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