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Bloomberg hacker sentenced to four years

03 July 2003  |  5257 views  |  0 Bloomberg 2

Oleg Zezov, a 29-year old from Kazakhstan who hacked into Bloomberg's computer systems and attempted to extort $200,000 from company founder Michael Bloomberg, has received a 51-month gaol sentence.

Zezov, a former securities industry employee from Kazakhstan, was found guilty in February of sending e-mails to Bloomberg demanding $200,000 for disclosing weaknesses in the company's system.

Corresponding under the pseudonym Alex, Zezov sent Bloomberg a multi-page fax that consisted of a printout of Bloomberg computer screens containing personal information about Michael Bloomberg, including his employee identification photograph, his computer username and password at Bloomberg and credit card numbers.

Zezov was arrested along with alleged accomplice Igor Yarimaka in London last year in an FBI sting operation. The case against Yarimika was dismissed after a trial judge ruled that key prosecution evidence was inadmissible.

The four-year sentence imposed on Zevov is one of the longest ever for a computer crime case, but could have stretched to 20 years for the associated blackmail plot.

Before passing sentence, US District Judge Kimba Wood told Zezov: "As the government has pointed out, your crime was a very serious one because of its threat to international commerce and the integrity of data that the financial community relies upon to do its business."

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