No jail time for hacker behind $250M Capital One data breach

Oct. 5 (UPI) -- A former Amazon engineer who was responsible for one of the largest data breaches in U.S. history, will not spend any additional time in jail.

Seattle resident Paige Thompson, who was convicted in June of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, received five years of probation the Department of Justice announced Tuesday.


Thompson, 37, was responsible for downloading data from more than 100 million Capital One users.

U.S. Attorney Nick Brown said in a statement that he was disappointed with the sentencing because of the massive amount of people Thompson's hack affected.

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"While we understand the mitigating factors, we are very disappointed with the court's sentencing decision," Brown said. "Ms. Thompson's hacking and theft of information of 100 million people did more than $250 million in damage to companies and individuals. Her cybercrimes created anxiety for millions of people who are justifiably concerned about their private information. This conduct deserves a more significant sanction."

U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik said that time in prison would be "particularly difficult for Ms. Thompson because of her mental health and transgender status."

In July 2019, Thompson used a software tool she built from Amazon Web Services to look for misconfigured accounts. Shen then used the accounts to hack and download data from more than 30 entities, including Capital One.


Thompson was arrested that month and jailed until November of that year.

Capital One agreed to pay $80 million to settle federal bank regulators' claims that it lacked security measures it needed to protect customers' information. In December, the bank paid $190 million to settle a class-action lawsuit filed by customers whose data was exposed in the breach.

A hearing to determine the amount of restitution Thompson must pay to her victims is scheduled for Dec. 1.

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