Digital Forensics Dispatch

Digital Forensics Blog
by Sensei Enterprises, Inc.

Florida Man Arrested in Hacking Investigation: Police Find Child Pornography

December 30, 2021

Sarah Coble, of Infosecurity Magazine, recently published an article about a hacking incident at Polk State College in Florida. In June 2021, the investigation began because two IT accounts belonging to a program coordinator and an instructor were hacked. The employees could not access their labs and scheduling accounts, and their password recovery hints were changed to “Sell Out” or “Ha Ha Ha Loser.”

38-year-old Brandon James Diaz was linked to the cyber attack by law enforcement. Diaz was a former paramedic, fireman, and nurse working as a clinical coordinator for the Polk State College EMS program. In May 2021, Diaz was fired for his “inability to complete his job duties.”

Diaz’s position at Polk State College was put to an end after he failed a drug test and lost his job at Lakeland Regional Health. During Diaz’s interview with Polk County detectives, he admitted to hacking into Polk State’s database using his personal computer.

Detectives later found 75 images of children and infants being sexually abused on Diaz’s personal computer while executing a search warrant.

Brandon James Diaz was charged with 10 counts of accessing a computer without authorization, the use of a two-way device to commit a felony, and 75 counts of enhanced possession of CSAM (child sexual abuse material).

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd added, “If he hadn’t messed up by hacking the computers, we at least at this moment in time wouldn’t have known he was accessing child porn.”

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