Scot Imprisoned in US Over Oil and Gas Data Theft
Kevin Forbes was arrested by the FBI when he attempted to sell the information of 450,000 individuals from a rival CV website.
An Aberdonian has been locked up in the United States after offering to sell privileged information to an undercover law enforcement agent in New York City. Kevin Forbes, owner of CV website OilandGasPeople.com, was caught in a federal crackdown on cyber-crime in February this year after he unknowingly solicited an FBI agent.
According to news sources, Forbes bragged to the officer that he could access resumes and data on subscribers and employees who had uploaded their information to a rival CV firm’s website. He then attempted to sell the agent the details of 450,000 individuals for $250,000, while also claiming that he had a database of 800 other clients interested in the information.
Forbes was then arrested, and charged with criminal access of a protected computer without authorisation. During his court hearing in New York, Forbes apparently entered a plea agreement in May to get a more lenient punishment. He is now serving an 18 month sentence in Moshannon Valley Correctional Centre in Pennsylvania.
Court documents compiled by an FBI cyber-security specialist have told how a confidential source originally tipped off authorities to Forbes’ activity. The meeting between Forbes and the undercover agent took place on February 23rd in a hotel room in Manhattan, and Forbes apparently boasted about his ability to access the information of clients on a competitor’s website.
Delivering their sentence, Judge Castel said: “The defendant offered to sell the resumes and customer data to the confidential source (‘CS’) for approximately $250,000.
“On or about February 23rd, 2017, the CS and an undercover law enforcement agent (‘UC’) met with the defendant at a hotel in New York, NY, where the defendant used a laptop computer to log into a virtual private network and access Victim-1’s company database.
“During the meeting, the defendant demonstrated his ability to view information related to resumes, subscribers, and employees who had uploaded information to Victim-1’s database, including the usernames and passwords for subscribers. The defendant was arrested on February 24th, 2017.”
A family friend said after sentencing: “He made a small mistake and got stung by the FBI. Kevin got a low sentence and is in a minimum-security jail. He is able to speak to his family on the phone and has access to emails.”
Forbes has now resigned as owner of OilandGasPeople.com.