Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 June 2019

Worker hacked employer's websites after salary cut, court hears

Man carried out cyber attack in payment row, Dubai Criminal Court is told

A man is accused of hacking into the websites of a media company after having Dh4,000 deducted from his salary.     
A man is accused of hacking into the websites of a media company after having Dh4,000 deducted from his salary.     

A disgruntled computer programmer hacked into 15 websites belonging to a media company he worked for in Dubai after a cash row, a court heard.

The 33-year-old allegedly breached the security systems of the websites after being told he would have Dh4,000 deducted from his salary as a penalty for tendering his resignation before the end of his probation period.

The Indian worker initially threatened to hack websites if the sum was not repaid during WhatsApp messages to a colleague, Dubai Criminal Court was told.

He followed through on his threat when his demands were not met, prosecutors said.

The incident is said to have taken place in June, 2016.

"He sent WhatsApp messages to another programmer at the company threatening that he will hack all our websites if we did not repay Dh4,000 that was deducted from his salary,” said a Syrian partner at the firm, 47.

He said the accused was hired in February 2016 and had full access to and control over the company's online portals.

Four months after joining - and before the end of his probation period - the defendant sent his resignation via email.

“He was then informed that as per the contract, if he resigned before the end of the probation period a certain amount will be deducted from his salary, which happened,” said the partner.

“He carried out his threat and froze all of the websites, and we had nothing in hand but to lodge a complaint against him with Al Muraqqabat police station.”

Prosecutors said that data found on the defendant’s personal laptop confirmed that he had accessed the websites but it could not identify the nature of the activity he carried out.

The defendant denied charges of hacking websites and issuing threats.

The case is due back in court on March 7.

Updated: February 22, 2019 05:21 PM

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