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Security

Ex-ViewSonic employee pleads guilty to hack

A former network administrator for computer-monitor maker pleads guilty to illegally accessing a company server and deleting critical data two weeks after the firm had fired him.

A former network administrator for computer-monitor maker ViewSonic pleaded guilty Monday to illegally accessing a company server and deleting critical data two weeks after the firm had fired him, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement.

Andrew Garcia, 38, admitted to a Los Angeles district court that he caused more than $53,000 in damages and clean-up costs when he had shut down a key server and prevented ViewSonic's Taiwan office from accessing the business's data, said Wesley Hsu, an assistant U.S. attorney for the Central District of California.

While ViewSonic had locked his accounts, Garcia had used another employee's account to gain access, Hsu said. "He had, in the course of his employment, obtained other employees passwords," he said. Garcia's attorney wasn't available for comment.

Garcia administered ViewSonic's network at the company's Walnut, Calif., main office. On April 14, 2002, two weeks after Garcia was terminated, he logged into the system using another employee's passwords and deleted critical files, causing the server to crash, according to the Justice Department. ViewSonic's Taiwan office was unable to access the server for several days, the Justice Department said in the statement.

Garcia is scheduled to be sentence in the case on Jan. 12, 2004. He faces a maximum sentence of five years and a fine of $250,000.