48° Good Morning
48° Good Morning
Long IslandSuffolk

Officials: Smithtown man charged with hacking

A former programmer and systems manager at a Hauppauge company was arrested Thursday by FBI agents at his Smithtown home on a charge of hacking into the business' computer system and causing more than $90,000 in damage, according to officials.

Michael Meneses, 41, was upset that he had been passed over for promotion by the company, and after he quit in December 2011 he broke into the company's computer system, sabotaging records, Eastern District prosecutors contend in court papers.

While the company was not named in court papers, it was identified as Spellman High Voltage of Hauppauge by sources familiar with the case.

Meneses was released on $50,000 bond, pending future hearings, following an appearance before U.S. Magistrate Gary Brown at the federal court in Central Islip. Meneses was not required to enter a plea to a charge of damaging computers by the unlawful transmission of computer codes and commands.

Meneses attorney, federal public defender Tracey Gaffey, declined to comment.

Eastern District U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said in a statement that Meneses is alleged to have "engaged in a 21st Century campaign of cyber vandalism and high-tech revenge . . . We will hold accountable any individual who victimizes others by exploiting computer network vulnerabilities."

The human resources manager for Spellman, David Edwards, said that Meneses had worked for the company but declined further comment. The company manufactures high-voltage power supplies and X-ray generators.

Meneses altered the company's business calendar by one month, preventing employees from processing routine transactions, and used a former colleague's email account to send messages to new applicants discouraging them from working for the company, papers said.

One person who applied for Meneses' job got back, ostensibly from the company, an email that said. "Dont accept any position" from the company, the court papers said.

Court papers said agents traced some of the hacking to an IP address at a North Carolina motel where Meneses was staying.

Other break-ins using the log-on credentials of another company employee and a company consultant were traced to an online account to which Meneses subscribed, the papers said.

If convicted, Meneses could face up to 10 years in prison.

Latest Long Island News