Top Executive at Bay Area School Lunch Provider Arrested for Hacking into Competitor’s Website to Access Students Meal Preferences.
Personal rivalry and competitiveness can compel people to get involved in all sorts of bizarre activities and the latest incident is clear proof of that. Reportedly, two lunch companies Choicelunch and The LunchMaster located in Danville and San Carlos, Bay Area were involved in a fierce broil for gaining a competitive edge in the market.
To surpass the other, Choicelunch’s top executive hacked The LunchMaster’s website in order to prove their online security was flawed so that their business gets ruined. Naturally, The LunchMaster called the cops and the FBI got involved.
The FBI investigated for a whole year; the investigation took a conclusive turn when in April they arrested the chief financial officer of Choicelunch, Keith Wesley Cosbey. Cosbey has been charged with two counts of felony in relation to unlawful computer access, identity theft and illegally obtaining student data from The LunchMaster’s website.
The 40-year-old Cosbey is suspected to have hacked into The LunchMaster’s website in order to get information on the food preferences of youngsters across the San Francisco Bay Area. Cosbey is accused of stealing students’ names, academic grades, meal preferences, allergy-related information, and other private details stated San Mateo County’s deputy district attorney Vishal Jangla.
“Someone who’s an executive, that’s surprising,” Jangla said. “It’s a first for me.”
A criminal complaint (PDF) has been filed against Cosbey in which the FBI has revealed that the accused stole data of hundreds of students and sent the information to the local government department responsible for supervising school lunch programs to weaken The LunchMaster’s hold on the school lunch provision market.
However, the strategy backfired because the California Department of Education immediately informed The LunchMaster about the data exposure. Cosbey may be facing up to three years in prison if he is proven guilty.
The LunchMaster tracked the intruder after confirming that its database was accessed and identified a Danville, California IP address. The identified location was Choicelunch headquarters. Hence, The LunchMaster contacted the FBI and Cosbey got arrested eventually. He is currently on bail and will be appearing before the court on May 22.
This, however, is not the first time when someone has been caught hacking their competitor. In 2015, the cyber security giant Kaspersky was accused of creating fake malware to sabotage its competitors.