Criminal Justice

Fired worker loses smartphone privileges for 3 years for hacking into law firm's server


A former law firm employee and her husband will be on probation for the next three years after taking a misdemeanor plea in a federal criminal case over unauthorized intrusion into a Pennsylvania law firm’s computer system.

But likely much worse for Alyson L. Cunningham, and her husband, Jonathan A. Cunningham, is what exactly probation requires. Not only will their home computers be monitored by probation authorities but all smartphone use is banned, the Post-Gazette reports. The judge imposed the ban not as a punitive measure but because probation authorities are not equipped to monitor cellphone use.

Authorities say the couple coordinated with a computer-savvy friend, Matthew James West, who has not yet been sentenced, to install password-capturing software on the computer server of Voelker & Gricks in November 2011, using a password Alyson Cunningham provided. A partner said no confidential data was compromised the Post-Gazette notes.

The hack attack was in apparent retaliation for the family law firm’s termination of Alyson Cunningham as an employee.

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