Prison sentence for computer hacker who shutdown suburban Harrisburg internet service provider

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HARRISBURG, Pa. –  Darius J. Prugar, 32, of Syracuse, New York, was sentenced today in federal court  in Harrisburg by Sylvia H. Rambo to 24 months in prison for computer hacking and wire fraud.  A jury convicted Prugar in March after a one-week jury trial.

Judge Rambo also ordered Prugar to pay $26,000 in restitution. Prugar was ordered to report to the Bureau of Prisons on December 27, 2016, to begin service of his prison sentence.

According to U.S.  Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, Prugar was the network administrator for Pa Online, an internet service provider formerly located in Enola, Cumberland County.  Prugar was fired by Pa Online in June 2010. Days later, Prugar retaliated against his former employer by secretly hacking into the business’s computer network.

Prugar installed computer programs throughout the internet service provider’s network, which caused files and directories to be erased and ultimately caused the network to crash. For approximately a week, Pa Online was unable to provide sustained service to over 5,000 residential customers and over 500 business customers. He also installed numerous “backdoor” entry points into the network so that he could access the network again.

Over a dozen former employees, outside consultants, and former clients of Pa Online testified about the impact the outage had on them. Former employees and outside consultants hired by Pa Online testified that the crash caused them to work for days attempting to return service. Former customers described their inability to access tools essential to their businesses, which resulted in the customers terminating their relationship with Pa Online. Out of fear that Prugar would re-sabotage the business, the owner of Pa Online testified he had the entire network rebuilt.