Paige Thompson Faces up to 20 Years for Wire Fraud
Paige Thompson, 36, a resident of Seattle, who worked as an engineer in Amazon Web Services, has been charged with seven felonies. She has been found guilty of five cases of unauthorized access to protected systems, damaging a protected computer, and wire fraud. For fraud alone, she faces up to 20 years in jail.
US Attorney Nick Brown noted that Paige Thompson had used her hacking skills to steal the personal information of more than 100 million people and hack computer servers for cryptocurrency mining. She was nothing like an ethical hacker: her intrusions were never a tool for protection improvements, which they could be. She exploited vulnerabilities she knew about to collect sensitive data and use it for her beneficiation.
Thompson was arrested in July 2019 after Capital One made a complaint to the FBI about a hack. Ms. Thompson has created a tool to seek incorrectly configured Amazon Web Services accounts. She managed to obtain data of more than 30 clients of the service, among whom there was Capital One bank. Upon finding a victim, Thompson went on with theft of personal data and installation of coin-mining malware. As a result, she collected data from over 100 million US clients of Capital One. Thompson even boasted about it on Internet chats and forums.
The court scheduled sentencing for September 15. Thompson faces up to 20 years for fraud and up to ten years altogether for two other charges: damage to a protected computer and unauthorized access.