Threat Management

Pen test gone awry? Coalfire staffers arrested for burglary

Two Coalfire employees were arrested at the Dallas County, Iowa court house earlier this week as they conducted what they called an assessment on the building’s security.

The Des Moines Register reported Gary Demercurio and Justin Wynn were arrested early in the morning of September 11 as they were walking around on the court house’s third floor allegedly carrying a variety of burglary tools. The Perry News quoted a police report that upon arrest the men claimed “they were contracted to break into the building for Iowa courts to check the security of the building.”

Coalfire confirmed that the two are company employees.

The Iowa Judicial Branch confirmed in a press release that Coalfire was hired to check for vulnerabilities in its electronic records, but the agreement “did not intend, or anticipate, those efforts to include the forced entry into a building,” The Perry News stated.

A Coalfire spokesperson told SC Media that: Coalfire is a global cybersecurity firm that has conducted over 10,000 security assessments since 2001. We have performed hundreds of assessments for similar government agencies, and our employees work diligently to ensure our engagements are conducted with utmost integrity and in alignment with the objectives of our client. However, we cannot comment on this situation or any specific client engagements due to the confidential nature of our work and various security and privacy laws. Additionally, we cannot comment on this specific case as it is an active legal matter.”

Wynn and Demercurio were charged with third degree burglary and possession of burglary tools and are expected back in the same court house on September 23 for a preliminary hearing.

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