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Men allegedly broke into computers of former employer

Poor password hygiene indictment

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Federal authorities on Wednesday filed intrusion charges against two men accused of accessing the computer systems of their former employer.

Scott R. Burgess, 45, of Jasper, Indiana, and Walter D. Puckett, 39, of Williamstown, Kentucky, both worked as managers for Indiana-based Stens Corporation until taking jobs with a competing company in Ohio, according to an indictment filed in federal court. On at least 12 occasions, they used old passwords to access their former employer's computer and access proprietary information, prosecutors allege.

Although the men left their jobs in 2004 and early 2005, they were able to use the outdated passwords successfully as late as September of 2006. On at least two occasions, administrators at Stens grew suspicious and terminated old passwords. The men simply tried different login credentials - and succeeded several times.

If convicted, they face five years in prison each and a $250,000 fine. Attorneys for the men weren't available to comment. ®

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