Former IT Director Hacks into Employer Computer, Faces Prison

July 21, 2009 ( - The former director of information technology at a Houston-based non-profit organ and tissue donation center was sentenced to two years in prison for hacking into her former employer's computer network, CCH reported.

Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas Tim Johnson announced that Danielle Duann pled guilty April 30 to a one-count criminal indictment charging her with unauthorized computer access. In addition to the two-year prison term, Duann was sentenced to a three-year period of supervised release following completion of her prison sentence, and ordered her to pay $94,222 in restitution to compensate her former employer for the damage that resulted from her actions.

According to CCH, Duann admitted to illegally accessing the computer network of LifeGift Organ Donation Center and intentionally deleting organ donation database records, accounting invoice files, database and accounting software applications, and various backup files. She also admitted that in an attempt to conceal her activities, she disabled the computer logging functions on several LifeGift computer servers and erased the computer logs that recorded her remote access to the LifeGift network.

The news report said that according to court documents, LifeGift discharged Duann from her position as their director of information technology on November 7, 2005, and revoked all of her previous administrative rights and access to the LifeGift computer network. Duann admitted that beginning on the evening of November 7, 2005, and continuing until November 8, 2005, she repeatedly gained unauthorized access to the LifeGift computer network via a remote connection from her home and intentionally caused damage by deleting numerous database files and software applications, as well as their backups, related to LifeGift’s organ and tissue recovery operations.

LifeGift is the sole provider of organ procurement services for more than 200 hospitals throughout 109 counties in North, Southeast and West Texas.