Programmer charged with hacking Toyota website

Associated Press Modified: September 19, 2012 at 10:01 am •  Published: September 19, 2012
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A computer programmer from central Kentucky who once did contract work for Toyota has been charged with hacking into and damaging computers used by the automobile maker.

The FBI filed a federal criminal complaint against Ibrahimshah Shahulhameed of Georgetown, Ky., alleging that the disgruntled former worker logged in to the www.toyotasupplier.com site, which the company uses to communicate with vendors around the globe, and issued commands to slow down the functions of the computer servers.

"In some circumstances, there was no rational basis for issuing the commands, unless one was seeking to render the system inoperable," wrote FBI Special Agent Adam Keown, who conducted the probe.

Shahulhameed did not reply to a message sent Wednesday to an email address listed for him in the court documents, and his attorney, Patrick Nash of Lexington, did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.

Keown's allegations mirror those made by Toyota in a lawsuit filed in federal court in Lexington last month. Toyota won a preliminary injunction to keep Shahulhameed, a native of India, from leaving the United States while the suit was pending. The company dropped the litigation Tuesday, shortly after Keown filed the criminal complaint in federal court.

Both Keown and Toyota alleged that Shahulhameed worked on contract as a computer programmer for Toyota until being let go in late August. Andrew Sell, Shahulhameed's boss at GlobalSource IT, a Milwaukee, Wis.-based company, told Keown that Shahulhameed had been dismissed because he was harassing other employees working on the Toyota account.

Sell notified Shahulhameed via email that night that his contract to work on the Toyota account had been terminated.



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