Indian national faces 2-year jail term after deleting 1,200 Microsoft accounts of former client

An Indian national employed in the U.S. is facing a 2-year jail sentence after deleting 1,200 Microsoft user accounts of a company he previously worked at.

As per the court’s statement, Deepanshu Kher worked at an IT consulting firm from 2017 to 2018.  He was sent to the U.S. to work with the firm’s client at Carlsbad headquarters to assist with the migration to a Microsoft Office 365 environment.

Following the client’s dissatisfaction with Kher’s services, he was asked to remove himself from the project in January 2018. Kher was fired a few months later, and he returned to India in June. After two months, Kher hacked into the client’s server and deleted 1,200 of its 1,500 MSO365 user accounts. Kher was arrested on January 11th, 2021, upon flying to the U.S.

Federal prosecutors revealed as a result of the Indian hacker’s actions, the client incurred huge losses. The firm was entirely shut down for two days. Employees lost access to their emails, contact lists, meeting calendars, documents, video and audio conferences, corporate directories, and several other essential applications.

Acting U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman described this as an “act of sabotage” that would be destructive to the company. U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn Huff said that the attack was a planned and intended act of revenge.

Judge Huff sentenced Kher to two years in custody and three years of supervised release. Carlsbad owes the client restitution worth USD 567,084 to rectify the damages caused by Kher.