Texas resident charged with hacking campaign targeting Los Angeles County Superior Court employees
A Texas resident has been arrested and charged in connection with allegedly trying to hack into the email accounts of hundreds of Los Angeles County Superior Court employees, the district attorney’s office announced Tuesday.
Oriyomi Sadiq Aloba, 31, was arrested at his home in Houston last week and charged with 18 criminal counts related to the spear-phishing campaign, including 12 counts of false personation; five counts of altering public safety computer data, software or program; and one count of multiple identifying information theft, the L.A. district attorney’s office said in a statement.
“In July, more than 500 Superior Court employees received email messages that attempted to trick users into revealing their account credentials by directing them to visit bogus websites that appeared to be those of legitimate companies,” the statement said.
Fewer than a dozen Superior Court employees fell for the scam, and an internal review found that no sensitive case, court or financial records were compromised, according to the statement.
Prosecutors subsequently linked the campaign to Mr. Aloba and apprehended him on Nov. 15 with the assistance of members of the the FBI’s Los Angeles office, the Houston Cyber Task Force, the Houston Police Department and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, the statement said.
Mr. Aloba will be arraigned on Dec. 2 and risks being sentenced to more than 14 years in state prison if convicted on all counts.
About one in 14 targets typically fall for phishing scams, Verizon concluded in the 2017 edition of its annual data breach report. The personal email account of John Podesta, the manager of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, was notably breached during last year’s race as the result of a successful phishing effort attributed to Russian hackers.