Paige A. Thompson: Capital One Hacking Suspect

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Index

  1. About Paige A. Thompson
  2. Trial and Federal Custody
  3. Paige A. Thompson: According to the Prosecutors
  4. The Statements of Defense Lawyer
  5. Impact of Paige A. Thompson Breaches
  6. Trial Details

 

About Paige A. Thompson

Paige A. Thompson is the former Amazon employee and accused of hacking and stealing personal data of over 100 million customers of Capital One(1). Upon initial observation; it seems like she wants to get caught intentionally. 

July 2019, FBI agents arrested Paige A. Thompson after finding files and information on Capital One and her former employer. In late June, she posted about possessing knowledge of multiple companies, government, and educational entities as per the Department of Justice lawsuit. 

As per the resume of Paige A. Thompson, she had eight different employers during her 12 year period starting from 2005 and ending in September 2016 with Amazon. All of her jobs lasted less than 18 months. She got tasks like developing an analytics platform, site maintenance in her responsibilities. It is unclear whether she was on contract or a full-time employee in her jobs. The longest-held position by Paige A. Thompson was a system administrator at Zion Preparatory School. She worked at the famed private school from December 2007 to March 2010. 

 

Trial and Federal Custody

After the hearing on Paige A. Thompson, the U. S. Magistrate Judge, Michelle Peterson told her that she is highly talented and has all the medians and understanding to create plunder in our banking system

Thompson was arrested(2) for hacking and gaining access to over 140,000 Social Security numbers and approximately 80,000 bank account numbers. Further, according to the prosecutors(3), she has stolen data from more than 30 companies, schools, and other organizations. 

 

Paige A. Thompson: According to the Prosecutors

During the hearing, there were arguments over the risk of flight and danger to the community by Paige A. Thompson. According to Peterson, she is a physical danger to herself and those around her, along with financial and economic threats she presents. 

As per the prosecutors, Paige should be detained by the federal judge as a flight risk. Prosecutors further added her mental health problems, history of drug abuse, lack of stable employment, housing, and family connection in the hearing. It is interesting to know that agents seized a vast amount of weapons, ammunition, and explosive material during the house search. These belong to her roommate, Park Quan, who is a convicted felon arrested on July 29, 2019. 

 

The Statements of Defense Lawyer

Paige’s defense lawyers asked that she, a transgender woman, be released to a halfway house. They asked that because it would give her more conforming admittance to mental healthcare and gender-affirming treatment. Mohammad Hamoudi is a federal public fender and is also representing Thompson in the case. He further added that we don’t detain people without any criminal history. 

In a letter to the court, Chase Strangio, ACLU attorney, wrote that transgender women in prison face conditions that may lead to lifelong trauma, adverse health consequences, and even death at a particular time. The court held Paige A. Thompson at SeaTac Federal Detention Center in the male wing. Initially, the court also put her under a suicide watch upon her arrest. Hamoudi said that the detention center is not equipped by the authorities to treat gender dysphoria.  

 

Impact of Paige A. Thompson Breaches

In the previous year, Thompson gained access to over 140,000 Social Security numbers and 80,000 bank account numbers via the database of the Capital One. Her breach impacted over 100 million customers of Capital One. According to the court, it is one of many similar hacks. 

During her interaction with the investigators, Thompson stated that she didn’t sell or share it with anyone. The information was used for fraud or disseminated is unlikely, according to Capital One. However, Capital One is now facing several lawsuits. The breach is going to cost the company of approximately 100 to 150 million(4) USD. One of the suits also targeted Amazon(5). They alleged that the company took no action to fix the known vulnerability on its cloud service. We want to let our reads know that computer fraud and abuse is a punishable offense. It may get you five years in prison and a fine of 250,000 USD. 

 

Trial Details

According to the prosecutors, Paige A. Thompson built a custom scanning system to search the web for cloud servers. She searched for misconfigured servers that would allow outsiders to gain access to usernames and passwords. However, Thompson has pleaded not guilty to all charges pressed by the prosecutors(6).

Authorities are still investigating the breaches and now possess up to 30 TB of evidence. Several lawmakers, including Se. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., has taken an interest in the case. They are also questioning the role of Amazon in the security incident(7). 

Thompson is currently under a federal halfway house and can’t use computers, phones, or other electronics. She can’t use the devices unless she has permission from the Pretrial Services or the court. She also can’t participate in location monitoring, contact with potential witnesses along with many other conditions. The court has also restricted Thompson A. Paige from visiting any Amazon or Capital One-owed locations, including Whole Foods. The next trial continuation date is October 19, 2020. 

Click here to know more about the court complaint.

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Rucha Joshi, currently managing a team of over 20 content writers at TimesNext is fueled by her passion for creative writing. She is eager to turn information into action. With her hunger for knowledge, she considers herself a forever student and a passionate leader.

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