Suspected Capital One hacker requests release from jail on health grounds

It is believed the alleged cybercriminal stole information belonging to 100 million citizens.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

The alleged hacker responsible for the theft of 106 million records from Capital One has requested release from federal custody.

Lawyers for Paige Thompson, accused of the theft of data from the US financial institution, say that jail is a threat to her mental health and wellbeing, the Seattle Times reports.

Capital One said in July that a data breach resulted in the exposure of 100 million records belonging to US citizens, as well as a further 6 million belonging to Canadians. 

Credit card application data, names, addresses, ZIP codes, phone numbers, email addresses, dates of birth, self-reported income, and some bank account numbers were compromised. 

The announcement of Thompson's arrest was made following the disclosure. The programmer has also been accused of stealing information from 30 other companies and educational institutions.

See also: Capital One hacker took data from more than 30 companies, new court docs reveal

US prosecutors said that the seizure of servers from Thompson's home, located in Seattle, revealed "multiple terabytes" of stolen data. However, the FBI is still trying to ascertain which companies have allegedly become victims, and so not every organization has been informed. 

Thompson has previously claimed that none of the data taken from Capital One's AWS systems has been sold or leaked, and at the time of writing, there have been no reports to the contrary. 

The Federal Detention Center in SeaTac is where the accused, a transgender woman, is being held pending trial. 

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Thompson's defense team has asked that she is moved to a halfway house for better access to mental health care and to prevent her from becoming subject to abuse or experiencing trauma.

Law enforcement, on the other hand, believes that Thompson is a flight risk and "is a danger to herself and others," according to the publication.

US Attorneys Andrew Friedman and Steven Masada said that "there is no reason to believe that any mental health treatment that Thompson might receive while on release would be any more effective in reducing the danger that Thompson would pose than her prior treatment."

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A hearing is scheduled for Friday. 

While Thompson's lawyers fight for the change in their client's circumstances, GitHub is facing a legal challenge of its own. A class-action lawsuit has been filed in California against both Capital One and GitHub, the latter of which is accused of failing to prevent the breach by not acting after a message was posted concerning the hack on its website.

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