An IT security expert once employed by the federal government now faces a five-year jail term after pleading guilty to monitoring the email and PC use of his superior, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a Wednesday statement.
Kenneth Kwak, 34, of Chantilly, Va., pleaded guilty Wednesday in District of Columbia federal court to one charge of unauthorized access to a protected computer in furtherance of a criminal or tortuous act.
U.S. Attorney Kenneth L. Wainstein said the guilty plea is evidence of strong federal anti-hacking standards.
"This case is an example of our zero-tolerance approach to public corruption and computer hacking, and highlights the excellent working relationship between our office and the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section of the Criminal Division, he said.
The DOJ revealed that Kwak was a system auditor working on federal information management audits with the Department of Education's Office of Inspector General. Kwak placed software on his supervisor's PC to access his email and storage, as well as view internet activity and other communications.
The department said there is no evidence that Kwak profited financially from his actions.
Kwak faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. A sentencing date of May 12 has been set.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Secret Service arrested two men over accusations that they sent massive quantities of spam email to more than a million AOL subscribers, the South Florida Sun reported.
Todd Moeller, of New Jersey, and Adam Vitale, of Florida, were arrested after agents used an informant to hire the duo.