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Minnesota man charged with hacking into Massachusetts company server

BOSTON — A Minnesota man was charged today in federal court with hacking a protected computer and obtaining personal information of his co-workers. The charge is the result of an investigation being conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Trevor R. McDonald, 20, of Maplewood, Minn., was charged with violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

According to court documents, between May 3 and June 6, 2011, McDonald launched a "brute force attack" against the servers of Workscape Inc., a Marlborough, Mass., company. Workscape hosted an employee benefits site for employees of FedEx Ground. McDonald, himself a FedEx Ground employee, allegedly created a computer program to hack into the Workscape system and obtain personal information about other FedEx Ground employees, including their names, addresses and social security numbers.

Based on information obtained during the investigation, it appears that McDonald never used or released this information. The victim companies have cooperated fully with the HSI investigation.

If convicted, McDonald faces a year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Harman Burkart, District of Massachusetts, is prosecuting this case.

HSI, the largest investigative agency in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), protects national security by enforcing the nation's immigration and customs laws. One of HSI's leading priorities is to combat criminal activity conducted on or facilitated by the Internet.

The HSI Cyber Crimes Center (C3) delivers computer-based technical services to HSI components to support domestic and international investigations into cross-border crime.

The Cyber Crimes Section, the Child Exploitation Section, the Computer Forensics Section and the Cyber Administration Section comprise C3. This state-of-the-art center offers cyber-crime support and training to federal, state, local and international law enforcement agencies. C3 also includes a fully equipped computer forensics laboratory, which specializes in digital evidence recovery. In addition, C3 offers training in computer investigative and forensic skills.

To learn more about C3, click here.