Backdoors: Rogue, Proprietary, and Government-Mandated

by Michela Menting | 2Q 2017 | IN-4510

Columbia Sportswear filed a lawsuit in March (2017) against a former senior IT employee, Michael Leeper, for exfiltrating confidential business information and providing it to his new employer, Denali, a reseller of technology services to Columbia. The sportswear firm alleges that before leaving its employ, Mr. Leeper used a fake name to create a new account with wide access permissions to Columbia’s corporate networks and email system. The lawsuit claims Leeper accessed the account over 700 times after he left and passed corporate data on to Denali over the course of two years. By setting up the rogue account, Leeper effectively created a backdoor to his ex-employer’s network, enabling him to continue to access Columbia systems in all impunity.

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