GREENVILLE, North Carolina — A former government contractor has been convicted of leaving behind a “logic bomb” computer virus in an act of cyber sabotage that slowly destroyed a payroll system for nearly 200,000 Army reservists at Fort Bragg.
Federal prosecutors say Mittesh Das, 48, of Atlanta, decided to leave the destructive computer virus behind after he had lost his contract to operate the base’s payroll and personnel management system.
Authorities say the program was set to kick into high gear the day after Das left the job in late November 2014, with computer systems failing left and right. Officials say it cost $2.6 million to repair the damage Das left behind.
“Cyber-sabotage is not a ‘prank.’ It is a very serious crime with real victims and real costs. In this case, the crime cost taxpayers $2.6 million,” said John Stuart Bruce, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
The virus caused delays in payments to the 200,000 reservists not long before the holiday season.
Das faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 when he is sentenced on Jan. 9.