An Indian-origin man from San Jose, California, was sentenced Dec. 9, 2020, to 24 months in prison and ordered to pay a $15,000 fine for intentionally accessing a protected computer without authorization and recklessly causing damage.
Sudhish Kasaba Ramesh, 31, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh.
Ramesh pleaded guilty Aug. 26, 2020, to one count of intentionally accessing a protected computer without authorization and recklessly causing damage to Cisco, according to a press release from the United States Attorney for the Northern District of California David L. Anderson.
Ramesh worked for Cisco but resigned in approximately April 2018. According to the plea agreement, Ramesh admitted to intentionally accessing the Cisco Systems cloud infrastructure that was hosted by Amazon Web Services without Cisco’s permission on September 24, 2018.
Ramesh further admitted that during his unauthorized access he deployed a code from his Google Cloud Project account that resulted in the deletion of 456 virtual machines for Cisco’s WebEx Teams application, which provides video meetings, video messaging, file sharing, and other collaboration tools.
He admitted that he acted recklessly in deploying the code and consciously disregarded the substantial risk that his conduct would harm Cisco. As a result of Ramesh’s conduct, than 16,000 WebEx Teams accounts were shut down for up to two weeks and caused Cisco to spend approximately $1,400,000 in employee time to restore the damage to the application and refund over $1,000,000 to affected customers. No customer data was compromised as a result of the defendant’s conduct.
Ramesh is out of custody and will begin serving the 24-month sentence on February 10, 2021, the press release said.