Saturday, December 27, 2008

Jailed SF Engineer to Stand Trial

"A judge has ordered a computer engineer to stand trial on tampering charges for allegedly taking over the cyberspace network he designed for the city of San Francisco and refusing to reveal the passwords to access the system.

"After an eight-day preliminary hearing, Superior Court Judge Paul Alvarado ruled Wednesday that prosecutors had produced enough evidence of Terry Childs' probable guilt to hold him for trial on four felony charges of tampering with a computer network, denying other authorized users access to the network and causing more than $200,000 in losses.

"Childs, 44, of Pittsburg has been held in jail since July 13 on $5 million bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned Jan. 13.

"Childs was a network administrator at San Francisco's Department of Telecommunication Information Services, where he worked for five years. The network he created and ran, FiberWAN, allows the city's computers to communicate with each other and handles 60 percent of the city's information, including sensitive law enforcement, payroll and jail booking records.

"Prosecutors said he locked his bosses out of the system, provided bogus passwords and rigged the network to fail during a scheduled power shutdown."

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