Man gets record sentence for computer sabotage

A man looks at an array of computers in a file photo. REUTERS/Pawel Kopczynski

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A computer systems administrator was sentenced to 30 months in prison on Tuesday for trying to sabotage his company’s servers out of fear he was about to lose his job, prosecutors said.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark, New Jersey, said Yung-Hsun Lin received the longest ever federal prison term for a criminal attempt to damage a computer system.

He was also ordered to pay $81,200 in restitution to his former employer, pharmacy benefit manager Medco Health Solutions Inc.

Lin, 51, admitted he modified computer codes and added code to create a “logic bomb” designed to wipe out servers on Medco’s network in October 2003, around the time Medco was being spun off by Merck & Co, authorities said.

Lin feared he might be affected by resulting layoffs. Part of the code included script to launch the attack on his birthday, but it failed, they said.

Medco servers contained software applications relating to clients’ clinical analyses, rebates, billing and managed care processing. The unauthorized coding was found by another computer administrator in January 2005, authorities said.

Reporting by Christine Kearney; Editing by Daniel Trotta and Eric Walsh