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Hacker Charged In Seattle Data Breach Released On Bond

November 5, 2019


SEATTLE, WA – The perpetrator of a massive data breach will live in a halfway house while waiting for her trial, set for next year.

Paige Thompson was arrested earlier this year, in July, as the alleged perpetrator of a massive hacker attack. The FBI declared that she accessed the personal information of 106 million Capital One users.

Thompson, who is a software engineer, was released from jail this morning on bond. Her trial has been set for 2020, in March. While she waits for her day in court, Thompson will live in a halfway house.

Several other restrictions will also be in place. For starters, she will be monitored at all times via a GPS monitor. She also had to hand over her passport. The alleged hacker will also undergo a psychological exam by court orders. Furthermore, she must abstain from using any substance, counting alcohol and non-prescription drugs.

Among her other restrictions, Thompson won’t be able to access the Internet, nor a computer or even a flip phone. She will also be banned from entering any Amazon property, including Whole Foods, since the information she stole was on Amazon’s cloud.

The court’s decision to release Thompson on bail was partially influenced by the fact that she is a transgender woman. Hence, her lawyer argued that she should not be held in an all-male jail facility.

Although the is no evidence that Thompson sold any of the information she stole, her data breach was one of the largest hacking attacks involving a banking institution in U.S. history. Among all the data, she was able to access about 80,000 bank account numbers and more than 100,000 Social Security numbers.  

Capital One is now facing more than 40 lawsuits in the U.S. and 8 others in Canada. The customers that decided to file these lawsuits believe that the corporation failed to provide proper protection to their personal data.

Now Thompson faces wire fraud and computer fraud charges among others. Besides, the U.S. government announced they intend to add more charges in the case against Thompson.

However, Capital One has also felt the effects of the breach. Ever since the news came out that they misconfigured a firewall that allowed users to access more data than intended, they have lost about 15% of their stock value.

The Seattle native pleaded not guilty to the charges in September.  And, even though, her trial was set to start earlier than March 2020, it had to be postponed due to the amount of electronic data that is being revised for the case. Thompson’s computer, which was seized by authorities, contained almost 30 terabytes of data to be analyzed.  

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