Fired Director of IT accused of destroying organ donor information of former company

Fired Director of IT accused of destroying organ donor information of former company

Summary: Here's a story that will make you absolutely sick.  I used to live in Houston, time to time I still check out the Houston Chronicle...

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Here's a story that will make you absolutely sick.  I used to live in Houston, time to time I still check out the Houston Chronicle... which I did this morning.  I was interested in reading more about the altercation between the Astros pitcher and general manager, but then I stumbled across a story that made me really doubt my hope for the human race.

Apparently, the fired technology director of a Houston organ donation company has been accused of hacking into the companies systems and deleting records.  The article states: 

A federal indictment alleges that over two days in November 2005, Danielle Duann illegally accessed and damaged LifeGift Organ Donation Center's database.

The agency recovers organs and tissue from the deceased for distribution in 109 Texas counties. Recipients live in a broad swath of the state including Houston, Fort Worth, Lubbock and Amarillo.

After Duann, 50, was fired as the agency's director of information technology, she is accused of accessing the system and issuing commands that wiped out organ donor information and accounting files.

Man, after reading this, I totally lost my cool.  This is messing with people's lives.  This could've been devistating.  It's hard for me to imagine someone doing this... it not only smacks of pre-meditated attempted murder, but on a large scale.  How many people need organs in the course of a day, a week, a month?  Fortunately, the article states that the company saw no interruption in their ability to deliver:

"There was no interruption in clinical operations as a result of the deletion of files, therefore no lives of transplant candidates were in jeopardy," LifeGift spokeswoman Catherine Burch Graham said Tuesday afternoon.

The agency recovered the information from a backup system.

"All of the files were back within several months of the hacking and clinical operations were not affected in any way," Graham said.

Thank God for backups.  I can't stress how much this incident sickens me to hear about and how bad it could've been.  The article provided further comment to what Duann is facing:

Duann's face was wet as she was escorted by a U.S. Marshal Tuesday afternoon and she was unable to respond to questions.

If convicted, the former computer chief faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assuming the evidence is there to convict her, I personally hope the jury seeks the maximum in penalty.  10 years and $250,000 in fines doesn't even seem to cut it.

-Nate

Topics: Storage, Data Management, Security

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18 comments
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  • It just goes to show...

    ... that the thinking that the greatest security threat to any organization is its employees... and especially disgruntled ex-employees who are allowed to keep the keys to the kingdom.
    Confused by religion
    • Yes

      As Verizon said in their data breach report, certainly the damage done by internal breaches can be huge.

      -Nate
      nmcfeters
    • is she or is she not a (w) itch

      What have we learned about HUD, in fact even FICA future indicates your point. Prisons are only building until Prisoners are added. Not to say all employees are villians, just every person has a set value on their own worth... making life strangly exciting.
      jasahasch@...
  • RE: Fired Director of IT acused of destroying organ donor information of former company

    This guy must of been a real Moron, thinking he would not get caught. This guy was playing with sick people's lives. I hope this guy does 10 years and meets his new boyfriend named Tyrone!
    rupaa62
    • It's actually a female (NT)

      NT
      nmcfeters
  • Interesting how quickly you and others convict this person.

    I say wait and see if they have the evidence and the conviction before pushing for a penatly.

    Can they really prove that the person who "hacked" in was the former head of IT?

    The biggest question i have.. did the person use a company login to get in.. if so.. its not considered hacking, just unauthorized destruction of data. Also since the data was restored and not permanently lost, you can only go after the person for lost time and cost to restore.
    Been_Done_Before
    • Get your facts straight

      I speak of the crime being unbelievable. In closing, I say that IF the jury finds this person guilty I hope for maximum penalty.

      -Nate
      nmcfeters
    • I don't think so

      [i]Also since the data was restored and not permanently lost, you can only go after the person for lost time and cost to restore[/i].

      So then how come when someone tries to murder another person and fails, they don't throw them in jail for 2 months and fine then for just the lost time and cost to treat the victim?

      It's the intent that matters. That's what the issue is here: she intended to delete those records, destroying years of data, period. And with no thought to the consequences of the patients.

      If the backups didn't work, what then? I'm not talking about firing IT or assesing blame on the rest of the staff, I'm talking about, what happens to the people waiting for organs?
      AllKnowingAllSeeing
      • She was fired and handcuffed

        The handcuffs are a pretty good indication that there
        was sufficient evidence to arrest her. A jury may not
        find her guilty - that's up to the jury. Houston
        juries, however, are not generally known to be
        "bleeding heart liberals" in criminal cases of this
        magnitude. Maybe the gal can keep the tears
        flowing throughout the trial . . .
        Ken_z
        • RE: She was fired and handcuffed

          Quote: [i]Houston juries, however, are not generally known to be "bleeding heart liberals" in criminal cases of this magnitude. Maybe the gal can keep the tears flowing throughout the trial . . . [/i]

          She better hope any tears that she may shed during the trial are not [b]green.[/b]

          If the evidence is there, I hope the Judge gives her the max.
          fatman65535
  • RE: Fired Director of IT acused of destroying organ donor information of former company

    Big freakin' deal. Companies should not have any legal rights, since they aren't living, breathing entities. To think otherwise is complete nonsense and half of what is wrong in the world today; your average company has more rights and laws protecting it than people do.
    wayne62682
    • RE: Fired Director....

      I read your post more than once. How the implications of what this woman did; seems to have completely escaped [b]you[/b] is beyond me???

      I do not care how you, [b]as a disgruntled, fed up, or vindictive ex-employee,[/b] think that it is perfectly OK to exact revenge by destroying those records.

      If I were someone on an organ transplant list covered by that organization, and my chance was squandered by you, [b]a disgruntled ex-employee;[/b] how do you expect me to have any compassion for you????

      [b]AFAIC you can rot in hell!!!![/b]
      fatman65535
    • people receive organ transplants

      Wayne, last time I looked I'm a living breathing entity, and I want to remain so!

      And that's the point that you missed!

      As a transplant recipient I care that the records holding information about the tissue that I received are protected, because they could prove vital to my health in the future. So this attacked me, not just the company.

      It's the PEOPLE who received or might receive transplants that this affects, not the company!

      So your attitude is pure nonsense, and close-minded unthinking people like you are more than half of what is wrong in the world today. Do the rest of us a favor and stop wasting air sooner rather than later!
      bruce_mcculley@...
  • RE: Fired Director of IT acused of destroying organ donor information of former company

    And her account wasn't immediately disabled because...?

    Any shared accounts (*cringe*) she had access to should have had the passwords changed immediately. Not to justify what she did, but the IT department needs to be more conscientious about turnover, especially when is is so high profile. These are basic, minimum security activities.
    Real World
    • QED

      "...but the IT department needs to be more conscientious about turnover, especially when is is so high profile. These are basic, minimum security activities. "

      Seems like shortcomings that would justify firing the responsible manager.

      Who might that have been?

      Ouch.
      bruce_mcculley@...
  • RE: Fired Director of IT acused of destroying organ donor information of former company

    Do I detect something else amiss here?

    Why did it take a MONTH to recover from "backups"? [Instead of hours?]

    Could it be that the entire IT department needs an overhaul?
    hrnblwr@...
  • Blah blah blah

    Where you like to realize it or not, MOST people that get arrested for something are in fact guilty of it. Notice the word MOST was used, there are people innocent that do get arrested but in a case like this it's unlikely she'd even have been arrested unless there was damn good evidence. Nate did use the word "if", LEARN TO READ. Not that I always agree with Nate.

    As for your last paragraph... LOL. Where did you go to law school?
    zdnet@...
    • RE: Blah blah blah

      Thanks for noticing the if, which a few seemed to have not.

      -Nate
      nmcfeters