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Indian guilty of planting virus in US mortgage giant's servers

Last updated on: October 06, 2010 12:25 IST

An Indian computer programmer was convicted on Wednesday by a federal jury of planting a virus on Fannie Mae computer servers to destroy theĀ AmericanĀ mortgage giant's data.

Rajendrasinh Babubhai Makwana, 36, of Maryland faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for December 8.

A federal jury convicted Makwana of "computer intrusion arising from the transmission of malicious script to Fannie Mae's computer servers," United States attorney for the district of Maryland Rod Rosenstein said.

Makwana, a UNIX engineer who worked on Fannie Mae's network of almost 5,000 computer servers, had pleaded not guilty in January to planting the virus. He was a contractor working at Fannie Mae's Urbana, Maryland facility from 2006 to 2008.

According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, Makwana was fired on October 24, 2008, and told to turn in all of his Fannie Mae equipment, including his laptop. On October 29, 2008, a Fannie Mae senior engineer discovered a malicious script embedded in a routine programme.

A subsequent analysis of the script, computer logs, Makwana's laptop and other evidence revealed that Makwana had transmitted the malicious code the day he was fired. The code was intended to propagate throughout the Fannie Mae network on January 31, 2009. It could have destroyed all data, including financial, securities and mortgage information on Fannie Mae computer servers.

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