Former tech worker convicted in massive Capital One hack

SEATTLE — A federal jury in Seattle on Friday convicted a former software engineer on charges related to a 2019 hack of Capital One data that affected more than 100 million people, according to officials and KIRO-TV.

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Following a seven-day trial and 10 hours of deliberations, jurors convicted Paige “erratic” Thompson, 36, of wire fraud, five counts of unauthorized access to a protected computer and damaging a protected computer, officials with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington said in a news release. She was found not guilty of access device fraud and aggravated identity theft.

“Ms. Thompson used her hacking skills to steal the personal information of more than 100 million people, and hijacked computer servers to mine cryptocurrency,” U.S. Attorney Nick Brown said in a statement. He added that Thompson, “exploited mistakes to steal valuable data and sought to enrich herself.”

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Thompson posted about stealing information from Capital One servers on the information-sharing site GitHub, KIRO reported, citing a criminal complaint. A GitHub user subsequently alerted Capital One to the breach before authorities arrested Thompson in 2019.

Prosecutors said Thompson used a tool she built to scan Amazon Web Services accounts in search of misconfigured accounts. She used these accounts to hack into and download the data of more than 30 entities, including Capital One, according to authorities.

“With some of her illegal access, she planted cryptocurrency mining software on new servers with the income from the mining going to her online wallet,” prosecutors said. “Thompson spent hundreds of hours advancing her scheme and bragged about her illegal conduct to others via text or online forums.”

More than 100 million people in the U.S. were impacted by the Capital One hack, according to officials. The company was fined $80 million and settled customer lawsuits for $190 million.

Thompson is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 15.

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