Former Ubiquiti employee charged with stealing data, extorting employer

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Dec 2, 2021 | CYBERSCOOP

The FBI arrested a former employee of a U.S. technology company for allegedly breaching and stealing confidential data from his employer and then extorting the company for nearly $2 million.

The defendant, Nickolas Sharp, after allegedly stealing sensitive information posed as a whistleblower to plant misleading news about the company’s breach, according to an indictment released Wednesday. The articles caused the company’s share price to drop, costing it to lose market value, according to the Justice Department.

The indictment does not mention the company where Sharp worked, though the timeline and details of the incident match up with a breach of router company Ubiquiti discovered in January. An anonymous whistleblower accused the company of covering up the incident in March, matching  with the FBI’s account of Sharp’s actions. Sharp’s LinkedIn confirms he worked at Ubiquiti at the time.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

In a prior statement, the $1.8 billion hardware firm said the intruder did not access customer data.

“At this point, we have well-developed evidence that the perpetrator is an individual with intricate knowledge of our cloud infrastructure,” the company said.

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