May 28, 2022

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DA: Chico Condition computer system hacker sentenced | Information

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BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. – A 22-12 months-previous Chico guy was sentenced to probation, fines and local community services following admitting to illegally hacking various desktops at Chico Condition.

Alejandro Benitez appeared in Butte County Exceptional Court docket on Thursday the place he entered a plea of no contest to the crime of unauthorized computer system access.

Butte County Exceptional Court Commissioner Kurt Worley sentenced Benitez to three several years of probation and fines of $370.

Butte County District Legal professional Mike Ramsey said the illegal “hacking” led to a list of University students who had applied for COVID-19 vaccine exemptions being posted on the net.

The checklist bundled requests from about 130 learners – 18 of the entries had students’ private identifying information and facts. 

Associated: Chico State data breach leaks names of college students requesting exemptions from vaccine  

An investigation by University Law enforcement of the posted spreadsheet was traced back to Benitez, a current Chico Point out graduate who worked in the Info Technological know-how Support Expert services Place of work (ITSS), in accordance to Ramsey.

University Law enforcement also stated it was found out that a Chico State professor experienced notified the media of the online posts. Ramsey claimed the professor also informed police about the posts.

Relevant: Chico State presents assertion about COVID-19 vaccination facts breach

According to Ramsey, the professor “alerted his union and the media with the hope any likely civil rights and privateness violations would be investigated.”

The professor does not face expenses. Ramsey stated the professor’s steps had been not criminal as the legal perform, in this situation, was unlawfully accessing the University’s computer systems.

By illegally accessing and downloading information for the duration of his employment from at minimum two computer systems assigned to Chico State directors, Benitez was able to get the confidential exemptions record.

In accordance to Ramsey, Benitez experimented with to redact students’ individual facts but unsuccessful to take out information and facts situated in other columns of the spreadsheet.

Ramsey stated the terms of Benitez’s probation include things like 80 hrs of neighborhood provider and a prohibition from accepting employment in which he could have accessibility to a pc except if authorized by the courtroom.

Commissioner Worley stated Benitez will be expected to serve a minimum of 180 days in Butte County Jail for any probation violations.

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