COVID Feature: Unforeseen Consequences

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Hacking and criminal concept.A hacker in a secret hiding place is neon light.

To the dismay of all employees, there is no such thing as guaranteed job security. At the end of the day, businesses do what they need to do to stay financially secure and sometimes that means letting employees go. An unfortunate side effect of this can be a severely disgruntled former employee.

Christopher Dobbins was Vice President of Finance at Georgia-based company Stradis Healthcare until his termination in March 2020. Dobbins has been charged for conducting a computer intrusion into his former employer’s package shipping system and deleting shipping information. (Dobbins made sure he received his final paycheck before conducting his revenge.)

His intrusion resulted in a disruption of distribution of products needed in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Stradis Healthcare manufactures and/or packages medical devices, surgical equipment, and other items needed by healthcare professionals. Some of these products include masks, gowns, and other personal protective equipment (PPE) which are essential for healthcare workers to successfully and safely do their jobs.

Despite losing his administrator access to company computers after his termination, Dobbins was still able to infiltrate the company’s network. He did this by using a fake user account that he created during the time of his employment. (Maybe if Dobbins had focused more on his job and less on breaking the rules, he’d still be employed.)  

Dobbins used the fake account to create a second fake user account. He allegedly used the secondary account to edit approximately 115,581 records and delete approximately 2,371 records that detailed product orders and shipping information.

The breach caused major delays in fulfilling orders of PPEs to healthcare providers amidst the coronavirus pandemic. (Fraudsters often have no sense of consequences and don’t care who they hurt with their schemes.)

This was a targeted fraud with the intent to disrupt the company’s functionality without regard to the effect it may have on healthcare professionals waiting to receive protective equipment. (Luckily, the company didn’t let one rotten apple get in the way of them delivering the much needed equipment.) Dobbins could serve time for his attempted sabotage.

There are many other fraudsters also seeking to take advantage of the chaos caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have information related to a COVID-19 scam you should contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via email at disaster@leo.gov.

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from an article, “FBI: Former Stradis VP Christopher Dobbins Charged With Sabotaging Shipments of PPE To Hospitals,” published by CBS Atlanta on April 17, 2020.

Additional information:

https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga/pr/former-employee-medical-packaging-company-pleads-guilty-disrupting-ppe-shipments

ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) -The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Georgia said they charged a former medical device packaging company employee, Christopher Dobbins, “for conducting a computer intrusion into his former employer’s package shipping system and deleting shipping information.”

They said in a press release: “This defendant allegedly disrupted the delivery of personal protective equipment in the middle of a global pandemic,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “Scarce medical supplies should go to the healthcare workers and hospitals that need them during the pandemic.  The Department of Justice is dedicated to moving quickly on cases like this to bring criminal opportunists to justice and protect the public during these challenging times.”

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Larry Benson
Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.