RealTime IT News

Fed Spyware Distributor Sentenced

A former Department of Education (DoE) network security employee was sentenced to five months in prison Friday for placing spyware on his boss's computer.

In March, Kenneth Kwak, 34, pleaded guilty to one count of intentionally gaining unauthorized access to a government computer and obtaining information.

In addition to prison time, Kwak was fined $40,000 and will serve five additional months of home confinement with electronic monitoring. In addition he received a three-year term of supervised release.

According to a statement of facts filed with the March guilty plea, Kwak was a system auditor working on federal information security management audits as a member of the DoE's Office of Inspector General.

In his plea, Kwak admitted that he had placed software on a supervisor's computer that allowed him to access the computer's storage at will. He later used that access on numerous occasions to view his supervisor's intra-office and Internet e-mail as well as his other Internet activity and communications.

Kwak admitted sharing the information with others in his office, but according to the Department of Justice, there is no indication he financially profited from his action.

Kwak faced a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.