Scott Ferguson of Govinfosecurity.com reported that Sudhish Kasaba Ramesh, an ex-Cisco engineer, has pled guilty to causing $1.4 million in damages to the company. Ramesh has plead guilty to one charge of intentionally accessing a protected computer without authorization and recklessly causing damage. The breach did not cause any damage or compromise to customer data; however, there was damage to Cisco’s internal systems and other expenses Cisco occurred due to the access, estimated at $1.4 million.
The incident occurred in September of 2018 but criminal charges against Ramesh were made in July of 2020. Ramesh resigned from his position with Cisco in April of 2018, and it is alleged that Ramesh accessed Cisco’s systems where he executed malicious code from his own cloud platform. The malicious code then deleted 465 virtual machines that are used to support Cisco’s WebEx application. This caused around 16,000 WebEx accounts to be affected over a course of two weeks.
WebEx, if you are unfamiliar, is an application that allows for video conferencing, screen sharing, and other virtual collaboration tools. The disruption in the WebEx service caused Cisco to refund their clients who were affected, which is part of the calculation of the $1.4 million in damages. Ferguson notes “The court documents in the case do not mention how Ramesh maintained his access to Cisco’s cloud infrastructure after he left or what led the FBI to press criminal charges.”
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