Former Student From India Sentenced In New York For Destroying Computers


An Indian student who was formerly at The College of St. Rose, was sentenced Aug. 13, 2019, to prison and fined for destroying computers.

Representative cybercrime photo Reuters/Dado Ruvic

Vishwanath Akuthota, 27, of Albany, was sentenced to 12 months in prison, to be followed by 1 year of supervised release, for intentionally damaging computer equipment owned by The College of St. Rose.  Akuthota was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $58,471.

In pleading guilty, Akuthota admitted that on February 14, this year, he inserted a “USB Killer” device into 66 computers, as well as numerous computer monitors and computer-enhanced podiums, owned by the college in Albany.

The “USB Killer” device, when inserted into a computer’s USB port, sends a command causing the computer’s on-board capacitors to rapidly charge and then discharge repeatedly, thereby overloading and physically destroying the computer’s USB port and electrical system, noted the press release from the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of New York.

Akuthota is a citizen of India, living in the United States on a student visa.  He has been in custody since he was arrested in North Carolina on February 22.




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