A former college student from the College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York, found himself guilty of destroying campus computers with a USB device that would destroy tens of thousands of dollars worth of computers and immediately overwhelm and fry their circuits. The plea was announced today by the Department of Justice, the FBI and the Police Department of Albany.
Former student Vishwanath Akuthota is now facing up to ten years in prison (with up to three years of oversight after discharge) and a total fine of up to $ 250,000. He was arrested and detained in North Carolina on February 22, just over a week after deploying the USB killer device into 66 Saint-Rose computers in various campus locations. Such devices can be easily purchased online for free and can overload the surge protection of many PCs.
27-year-old Akuthota apparently took video footage of himself as he plugged the malicious USB device into the computer and said, "I'm going to kill this guy," as the PCs were cluttered and permanently ruined. So you can say that the FBI and the APD had all the evidence they needed. Altogether, Akuthota caused $ 58,471
Akuthota is an Indian citizen who holds a visa in the United States and earned a master's degree in Saint Rose from Saint Rose in 2017. According to Albany's Times Union he also had a computer tracking system. Akuthota appeared in one of the college videos on Facebook in 2016, saying he ultimately hoped to become an entrepreneur. When asked why he chose Saint Rose for his studies, he said, "I see that there are many opportunities in college that will prepare you for the better future, where I can learn and promote myself in my life." The original complaint against Akuthota revealed no motive for his actions.
Personally aside: The College of Saint Rose is my alma mater. I know you've probably never heard of it, and I can not imagine that I'll write about it The Verge again. So, allow me to say hello to the students working on the student newspaper The Chronicle, and my old professor of journalism, Dr. med. Cailin Brown.