The former Cisco engineer was sentenced to 24 months in prison for unauthorized access to ex-employer’s networks and destruction of servers that hosted the infrastructure of the Cisco Webex Teams application.
Official charges were filed against 31-year-old San Jose resident Sudhish Kasaba Ramesh in July this year, and the man pleaded guilty in August .
According to court records, Ramesh worked for Cisco from July 2016 to April 2018, and then quit and got a job at another company. However, for some reasons that are not mentioned in the court documents, after his dismissal from Cisco, in September 2018, the man got access to the cloud infrastructure of his former employer in Amazon Web Services. Ramesh ran a script that removed 456 virtual machines that support the Cisco Webex Teams video conferencing application. As a result, more than 16,000 Webex accounts have been deleted.
It took the company two weeks and $ 2.4 million to restore accounts and rebuild systems ($ 1.4 million working time and $ 1 million in reimbursement to customers).
Cisco executives turned to law enforcement as soon as they found out that the application failure was not caused by a problem with the server, but was the work of an attacker. Although Ramesh apologized for his actions, he did not say what caused them.
In addition to two years in prison, the court also ordered the man to pay a $ 15,000 fine. Ramesh was fired from his new job and is due to go to prison on February 10, 2021.
According to Cisco representatives, the incident did not affect any customer data, and all services were restored.