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Pink-slipped sysadmin admits to threatening ex-employer's network

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Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A system administrator has admitted he threatened to cause extensive damage to his former employer's computer system after he was laid off.

Viktor Savtyrev, 29, of Old Bridge, New Jersey, worked as a sysadmin for five years at an unnamed mutual fund company located in New York City that managed more than $15bn, according to court documents.

A day after he and 13 other employees were laid off, he sent the firm's general counsel an email that threatened to unleash devastating attacks on the network unless his demands were met for additional severance pay and health insurance.

"My comrades for a small fee are able to help me out with bridging firewall security and carry out data destruction and virus outbreak," he wrote in the email dated November 6. "And lucky me to find out that [the company's firewall] is the cheapest firewall to crack!"

The rogue employee went on to threaten a barrage of nasty press if the managers did not comply.

"I located the names and email addresses of editors of Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and Daily News, and all of them should be very interested in getting an article about a mutual fund loosing [sic] data because some 'Crazy Russian' (this is the name of the article which I wrote last night), was fired after 5 years of loyal service," he added. "And that will give a very good marketing and advertisement campaign, I am sure clients would be reading it too."

He went on to demand that "excellent references should be provided for anybody contacting you regarding my employment."

Savtyrev entered a guilty plea on Monday in federal court in New Jersey. He faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He has also agreed to pay restitution. Sentencing is scheduled for August 24. ®

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