DISTRICT ATTORNEY VANCE ANNOUNCES SENTENCING OF FORMER COMPUTER EMPLOYEE IN GUCCI AMERICA CYBER HACKING CASE

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the sentencing of SAM CHIHLUNG YIN, 35, to 2-to-6 years in state prison for tampering with the corporate computer network of Gucci America, Inc. (“Gucci”), the Manhattan-based American affiliate of the Italian luxury goods retailer. On July 18, 2012, the defendant pleaded guilty to Computer Tampering in the First Degree and Criminal Possession of Computer Related Materials.

“The fashion industry plays a critical and driving role in the City’s economy, and not just during New York Fashion Week,” said District Attorney Vance. “Today, a computer hacker is going to state prison for attacking the network of his former employer, which is one of the more than 900 fashion companies based here in New York. As we have seen in many cybercrime cases, these so-called ‘insiders’ at companies have the ability to harm their employers, co-workers, and the company’s clients, customers, and even products. This is but one example in the fight against cybercrime and our ongoing efforts to repel attacks and protect electronic systems.”

According to the defendant’s guilty plea and documents filed in court, YIN, who had been previously terminated by Gucci as a network engineer, used an account he secretly created during his tenure at Gucci to tamper with the company’s computer system, shutting down some of its servers and networks, and deleting data from others. In June 2010, YIN emailed members of the Gucci’s IT Department using a fictional identity he had created and tricked them into giving him access to the network by activating a Virtual Private Network (“VPN”) token. In the months that followed, using the VPN token, YIN exploited his familiarity with Gucci’s network configuration and administrator-level passwords to gain nearly unfettered access to Gucci’s network. On November 12, 2010, Yin deactivated the company’s storage area network (“SAN”), and wiped the e-mail server, thereby deleting all of the company’s e-mail mailboxes. As a result, hundreds of Gucci employees across the country lost access to documents and e-mail for nearly 24 hours, and some data was permanently deleted. This intrusion cost Gucci hundreds of thousands of dollars in diminished productivity, restoration and remediation measures, and other expenses.

Assistant District Attorney Ehren Reynolds handled the prosecution of this case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys David Szuchman, Chief of the Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau, and Jeremy Glickman, Deputy Chief of the Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau. Investigative Analysts Michelle Moy and Mariangela Perrotta assisted in the investigation, as well as Deputy Chief Investigator Richard Brittson.

District Attorney Vance thanked Brian Parr, Special-Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the United States Secret Service, and the New York/New Jersey Electronic Crimes Task Force (“ECTF”), particularly Assistant to the Special Agent in Charge Ari Baranoff, supervisor of the ECTF, and Special Agent Timothy Desrochers, lead investigator in the case, for their assistance in the investigation.

District Attorney Vance also thanked the members of the Gucci MIS staff for their assistance in the investigation.

Defendant Information:

SAM CHIHLUNG YIN, D.O.B. 9/11/76
Jersey City, N.J.

Convicted:
• Computer Tampering in the First Degree, a class C felony, 1 count
• Criminal Possession of Computer Related Material, a class E felony, 10 counts

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