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An Indian American pleaded guilty in San Jose, California, Wednesday to intentionally accessing a protected computer of Cisco without authorization and recklessly causing damage.
According to the plea agreement, Sudhish Kasaba Ramesh pleaded guilty in federal court, announced US attorney David L. Anderson and Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent in-charge John L. Bennett.
Ramesh, according to a media release from Anderson’s office, admitted to intentionally accessing Cisco Systems’ cloud infrastructure that was hosted by Amazon Web Services without Cisco’s permission on September 24, 2018.
Ramesh, 30, worked for Cisco and resigned in around April 2018.
During his unauthorized access, Ramesh admitted that he deployed a code from his Google Cloud Project account that resulted in the deletion of 456 virtual machines for Cisco’s WebEx Teams application, which provided video meetings, video messaging, file sharing, and other collaboration tools.
He further admitted that he acted recklessly in deploying the code, and consciously disregarded the substantial risk that his conduct could harm to Cisco.
As a result of Ramesh’s conduct, over 16,000 WebEx Teams accounts were shut down for up to two weeks, and caused Cisco to spend approximately $1,400,000 in employee time to restore the damage to the application and refund over $1,000,000 to affected customers.
No customer data was compromised as a result of the defendant’s conduct, according to the release.
Ramesh, of San Jose, was charged July 13, 2020.
He is currently released on bond. Bail was set at $50,000.
His sentencing hearing is scheduled for December 9, 2020.
The maximum statutory penalty for the offense is five years of imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.