04:40 PM
Dark Reading
Dark Reading
Products and Releases

Former Employee of Transcontinental Railroad Company Found Guilty of Damaging Ex-Employers Computer Network

Canadian Pacific Railway former employee convicted for causing intentional damage to Canadian Pacific's computer network.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Gregory G. Brooker of the District of Minnesota announced the conviction of a former employee of Canadian Pacific Railway for causing intentional damage to Canadian Pacific’s computer network.

Christopher Victor Grupe, 46, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, was charged on April 11, with one count of intentional damage to a protected computer and on Oct. 6, following a five-day trial, was found guilty by a federal jury in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A sentencing date has not been set.

As proven at trial, from September 2013 until December 2015, Grupe was employed as an IT professional by Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), a transcontinental railroad company headquartered in Alberta, Canada, with U.S. headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota. On Dec. 15, 2015, following a 12-day suspension, Grupe was notified by CPR management that he was going to be fired due to insubordination. However, at his request, Grupe was instead allowed to resign, effective that same day. In his resignation letter, Grupe indicated that he would return all company property, including his laptop, remote access device, and access badges, to the CPR office.

As proven at trial, on Dec. 17, 2015, before returning his laptop and remote access device, Grupe used both to gain access to the CPR network’s core “switches” – high-powered computers through which critical data in the CPR network flowed. Once inside, Grupe strategically deleted files, removed administrative-level accounts, and changed passwords on the remaining administrative-level accounts, thereby locking CPR out of these network switches. Grupe then attempted to conceal his activity by wiping the laptop’s hard drive before returning it to CPR.

On Jan. 6, 2016, while trying to address a networking problem, the CPR network staff discovered that they were unable to access the main network switches. After CPR IT staff was able to regain access to the switches through a risky, but successful, rebooting procedure, they discovered evidence in logging data stored in the memory of the switches connecting the damage to Grupe. CPR hired an outside computer security company to identify the source and scope of the intrusion as well as conduct an incident analysis, which also connected the damage to Grupe.  In total, CPR experienced a financial loss of approximately $30,000 as a result of Grupe’s conduct.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI Minneapolis field office, with assistance from the Cybercrime Laboratory of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section.

Trial  Attorney Aaron R. Cooper of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy C. Rank of the District of Minnesota are prosecuting the case.


Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Who Does What in Cybersecurity at the C-Level
Steve Zurier, Freelance Writer,  3/16/2018
New 'Mac-A-Mal' Tool Automates Mac Malware Hunting & Analysis
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  3/14/2018
(ISC)2 Report: Glaring Disparity in Diversity for US Cybersecurity
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  3/15/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
How to Cope with the IT Security Skills Shortage
Most enterprises don't have all the in-house skills they need to meet the rising threat from online attackers. Here are some tips on ways to beat the shortage.
Flash Poll
[Strategic Security Report] Navigating the Threat Intelligence Maze
[Strategic Security Report] Navigating the Threat Intelligence Maze
Most enterprises are using threat intel services, but many are still figuring out how to use the data they're collecting. In this Dark Reading survey we give you a look at what they're doing today - and where they hope to go.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.