A hacker from New Jersey could spend the next 12 years in prison after he confessed to using keyloggers to steal data from two companies for more than a year.
Ankur Agarwal, 45, of Montville, New Jersey, admitted he placed hardware keyloggers into the network of the companies so he could steal users’ names and passwords. The end goal was to steal proprietary data regarding technology developed by the companies.
Hacking usually takes place from remote locations, but installing hardware keyloggers requires physical access to the networks. The intruder trespassed on location, then added keyloggers and laptops, which were used to siphon information from February 2017 until April 2018.
According to an Ars Technica report, Agarwal stole more than 15,000 files that included details about the technology, HR data, personal information, and emails. The hacker also sought credentials for the chief network engineer and a network engineer.
“Agarwal also obtained unauthorized access into an employee’s computer system and then fraudulently created an access badge for himself. This fraudulently obtained access badge, bearing another individual’s name, allowed Agarwal to physically trespass,” said the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey.
With multiple charges against him, Ankur Agarwal is now facing a total of 12 years in jail, with a mandatory minimum of two. He has to forfeit numerous computers, devices, and all other equipment used in the crime. He’s also liable for $750,000 in fines.
Sentencing is scheduled for January 28, 2020.