A Utah man who brought down the wireless Internet services offered by a former employer has been sentenced to two years in prison, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Thursday.
Ryan Fisher, 24, of Vernal, Utah, caused 170 customers of SBT Internet and another carrier to lose their wireless Internet connections for up to three weeks, the DOJ said. One customer was relying on e-mail for news of an organ donor, the DOJ said.
Judge Paul G. Cassell of the U.S. District Court for Utah also sentenced Fisher to three years of probation on the charge of intentionally damaging a protected computer. Fisher, a former employee of SBT, must also pay $65,000 in restitution, the DOJ said. Fisher was charged on Feb. 16.
SBT provides wireless Internet service to residential and business customers around Vernal.
Fisher left SBT over business and financial disputes and went on to work for, and eventually own, another Internet service provider in the area. Fisher then used SBT’s computer passwords to take control of SBT’s network and reprogram its customers’ wireless access points to cut off their Internet service, the DOJ said.
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the crime.