Sysadmin 'fesses up to wrecking his former employer's IT systems

Ex-Agilent staffer faces 10 years in the cooler


A former sysadmin with HP-spinoff Agilent has pleaded guilty to intentionally damaging the company's systems after he was laid off.

Kenneth Kezeor, 47, worked for Varian from 1997 until 2010, when it was bought by Agilent. Two years later, he was laid off as part of a general staff reduction.

He did not take the news well, and for the next four months used his sysadmin access to "impair the availability and integrity of data, programs, systems, or information" – FBI language for doing everything he could to screw things up.

Kezeor, of Felton, California, also admitted in his plea bargain that he used another employee's account to do some damage to the company's customer support app.

He was indicted in 2014 and charged with one count of intentional transmission causing damage to a protected computer, and one count of intentional access to a protected computer recklessly causing damage. He was subsequently also charged with aggravated identity theft.

As part of his plea deal, Kezeor has pled guilty to the single count of intentional transmission. He is currently free on bond and scheduled to be sentenced in September. He faces a maximum 10 years in jail and $250,000 fine. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Azure issues not adequately fixed for months, complain bug hunters
    Redmond kicks off Patch Tuesday with a months-old flaw fix

    Updated Two security vendors – Orca Security and Tenable – have accused Microsoft of unnecessarily putting customers' data and cloud environments at risk by taking far too long to fix critical vulnerabilities in Azure.

    In a blog published today, Orca Security researcher Tzah Pahima claimed it took Microsoft several months to fully resolve a security flaw in Azure's Synapse Analytics that he discovered in January. 

    And in a separate blog published on Monday, Tenable CEO Amit Yoran called out Redmond for its lack of response to – and transparency around – two other vulnerabilities that could be exploited by anyone using Azure Synapse. 

    Continue reading
  • Microsoft fixes under-attack Windows zero-day Follina
    Plus: Intel, AMD react to Hertzbleed data-leaking holes in CPUs

    Patch Tuesday Microsoft claims to have finally fixed the Follina zero-day flaw in Windows as part of its June Patch Tuesday batch, which included security updates to address 55 vulnerabilities.

    Follina, eventually acknowledged by Redmond in a security advisory last month, is the most significant of the bunch as it has already been exploited in the wild.

    Criminals and snoops can abuse the remote code execution (RCE) bug, tracked as CVE-2022-30190, by crafting a file, such as a Word document, so that when opened it calls out to the Microsoft Windows Support Diagnostic Tool, which is then exploited to run malicious code, such spyware and ransomware. Disabling macros in, say, Word won't stop this from happening.

    Continue reading
  • Inside the RSAC expo: Buzzword bingo and the bear in the room
    We mingle with the vendors so you don't have to

    RSA Conference Your humble vulture never liked conference expos – even before finding myself on the show floor during a global pandemic. Expo halls are a necessary evil that are predominatly visited to find gifts to bring home to the kids. 

    Do organizations really choose security vendors based on a booth? The whole expo hall idea seems like an outdated business model – for the vendors, anyway. Although the same argument could be made for conferences in general.

    For the most part, all of the executives and security researchers set up shop offsite – either in swanky hotels and shared office space (for the big-wigs) or at charming outdoor chess tables in Yerba Buena Gardens. Many of them said they avoided the expo altogether.

    Continue reading
  • CISA and friends raise alarm on critical flaws in industrial equipment, infrastructure
    Nearly 60 holes found affecting 'more than 30,000' machines worldwide

    Updated Fifty-six vulnerabilities – some deemed critical – have been found in industrial operational technology (OT) systems from ten global manufacturers including Honeywell, Ericsson, Motorola, and Siemens, putting more than 30,000 devices worldwide at risk, according to private security researchers. 

    Some of these vulnerabilities received CVSS severity scores as high as 9.8 out of 10. That is particularly bad, considering these devices are used in critical infrastructure across the oil and gas, chemical, nuclear, power generation and distribution, manufacturing, water treatment and distribution, mining and building and automation industries. 

    The most serious security flaws include remote code execution (RCE) and firmware vulnerabilities. If exploited, these holes could potentially allow miscreants to shut down electrical and water systems, disrupt the food supply, change the ratio of ingredients to result in toxic mixtures, and … OK, you get the idea.

    Continue reading
  • 1Password's Insights tool to help admins monitor users' security practices
    Find the clown who chose 'password' as a password and make things right

    1Password, the Toronto-based maker of the identically named password manager, is adding a security analysis and advice tool called Insights from 1Password to its business-oriented product.

    Available to 1Password Business customers, Insights takes the form of a menu addition to the right-hand column of the application window. Clicking on the "Insights" option presents a dashboard for checking on data breaches, password health, and team usage of 1Password throughout an organization.

    "We designed Insights from 1Password to give IT and security admins broader visibility into potential security risks so businesses improve their understanding of the threats posed by employee behavior, and have clear steps to mitigate those issues," said Jeff Shiner, CEO of 1Password, in a statement.

    Continue reading
  • Cisco EVP: We need to lift everyone above the cybersecurity poverty line
    It's going to become a human-rights issue, Jeetu Patel tells The Register

    RSA Conference Exclusive Establishing some level of cybersecurity measures across all organizations will soon reach human-rights issue status, according to Jeetu Patel, Cisco EVP for security and collaboration.

    "It's our civic duty to ensure that everyone below the security poverty line has a level of safety, because it's gonna eventually get to be a human-rights issue," Patel told The Register, in an exclusive interview ahead of his RSA Conference keynote. 

    "This is critical infrastructure — financial services, health care, transportation — services like your water supply, your power grid, all of those things can stop in an instant if there's a breach," he said. 

    Continue reading
  • Info on 1.5m people stolen from US bank in cyberattack
    Time to rethink that cybersecurity strategy?

    A US bank has said at least the names and social security numbers of more than 1.5 million of its customers were stolen from its computers in December.

    In a statement to the office of Maine's Attorney General this month, Flagstar Bank said it was compromised between December and April 2021. The organization's sysadmins, however, said they hadn't fully figured out whose data had been stolen, and what had been taken, until now. On June 2, they concluded criminals "accessed and/or acquired" files containing personal information on 1,547,169 people.

    "Flagstar experienced a cyber incident that involved unauthorized access to our network," the bank said in a statement emailed to The Register.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022