DoJ ‘very disappointed’ with probation sentence for Capital One hacker Paige Thompson

‘This is not what justice looks like’ says official on sanction for leak of 100 million records

Convicted wire fraud perpetrator Paige Thompson (aka "erratic") has been sentenced to time served and five years of probation with location and computer monitoring, prompting U.S. Attorney Nick Brown to label the sanctions unsatisfactory.

Thompson infamously raided cloud storage buckets operated by financial services company Capital One and made off with over 100 million individuals’ personal information, in addition to other data heists.

Capital One was fined $80 million for its lax security and Thompson was convicted of wire fraud and unauthorised computer intrusions.

Reports from the Monday sentencing hearing suggest Judge Robert S. Lasnik was moved by Thompson’s statement that she hopes to make positive and meaningful future contributions to society but was disappointed not to have received a letter admitting culpability.

The judge also reportedly stated the sentence he imposed was based, in part, on his belief Thompson will not commit further crimes.

The US Department of Justice has also stated that Lasnik said time in prison would be particularly difficult for Ms. Thompson because of her mental health and transgender status.

“While we understand the mitigating factors, we are very disappointed with the court’s sentencing decision. This is not what justice looks like,” said U.S. Attorney Nick Brown. “Ms. Thompson’s hacking and theft of information of 100 million people did more than $250 million in damage to companies and individuals. Her cybercrimes created anxiety for millions of people who are justifiably concerned about their private information. This conduct deserves a more significant sanction.”

Prosecutors sought a sterner sentence, arguing in a sentencing memo that “…Thompson’s crimes … were fully intentional and grounded in spite, revenge, and wilful disregard for the law.”

“She exhibited a smug sense of superiority and outright glee while committing these crimes…. Thompson was motivated to make money at other people’s expense, to prove she was smarter than the people she hacked, and to earn bragging rights in the hacking community.” ®

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