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$70,000 tissue tussle

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A technology director who was fired from her job has been accused of hacking in to the organ donation company where she worked and deleting donor information and accounting files.

According to a federal indictment, Danielle Duann, 50, of Houston, illegally accessed the database belonging to Life Gift Organ Donation Center over two days in November 2005. She then deleted numerous programs and database files. The intrusion cost the center $70,000.

The damage figure could have been much higher had the center not adequately backed up its computer systems. There was no interruption of clinical operations because the agency was able to retrieve all of the allegedly deleted information from backup systems. The center serves 200 hospitals in the Southwestern US by recovering organs and tissues from deceased people.

The indictment is the most recent example of an disgruntled IT manager seeking revenge against a former employer. Two weeks ago, we brought you the sad tale of a network engineer who was sentenced to 63 months in prison and ordered to pay more than $409,000 in restitution after triggering a massive data collapse on his former employer's computer network.

The victim of that rampage was a non-profit organization that provided IT services to regional health clinics in Southern California. The incident caused more than $409,000 in damage, but the real toll came when doctors no longer had medical records for thousands of low-income patients who sought medical care.

The case against Duann is being prosecuted by the US Attorney's office in Houston. Duann has not yet entered a plea. ®

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