Thursday, November 29, 2007

Student who worked on health IT at center of worldwide hacking investigation

This is concerning regarding healthcare information security and integrity. Could software in health IT projects worked on by this student be compromised, e.g., by "back doors", trojans, etc.? (See last paragraph.)

With all the recent problems with healthcare and other confidential, potentially harmful information subject to misuse being leaked, I believe an audit of the companies and health IT projects/products he worked on would be an appropriate due diligence.

I've emailed Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Levy on this issue and inquired if this angle is being or has been pursued.

-- SS

Penn student at center of worldwide hacking investigation

A computer system failure at Penn led investigators on a global chase. A Penn student has been charged.

By John Shiffman

Inquirer Staff Writer

When a suspicious computer server crash at the University of Pennsylvania last year denied service to 4,000 students, faculty and staff, technicians called the FBI - triggering a case that would take agents around the world and lead to the arrest of a brilliant but brash Penn junior.

Ryan Goldstein, a 20-year-old bioengineering major, conspired with a New Zealand hacker known as AKILL to use Penn's computer system as a staging ground for a 50,000-computer attack against several online chat networks, authorities said.

The FBI and Secret Service are expected to announce indictments today against Goldstein, a Florida man, and three others. Police recently executed related raids in New Zealand, Florida, California and Pennsylvania. The latest came Tuesday near Philadelphia. An FBI agent from the region is in New Zealand this week, and more arrests are possible.

"We've been executing search warrants all over the world in this case," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Levy.


Goldstein, who has no prior criminal record, appears to be an accomplished engineering student. According to a detailed resume posted on a Penn-hosted Web site, Goldstein has received a slew of computer-related honors - including the National Technology Achievement Award and the St. Joseph's University Presidential Scholarship.

The resume, which appeared to have been updated this month, said that Goldstein had worked on sophisticated software programs on medical-related projects for major area companies.

-- SS

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