Mich. Man Charged With Hacking GM Database

Thirty-five-year-old James S. Green, a former security guard at General Motors’ Warren technical center, has been accused of using the Social Security numbers of GM employees to access the company’s automobile database, the Associated Press reports via the New York Post.

Green, of Washington Township, Mich., determined what vehicles certain employees drove and then sent those people faux e-mail messages requesting their opinions of their automobiles, according to the AP.

Macomb County Sheriff’s Captain Anthony Wickersham told the AP Green collected the Social Security numbers of some 100 GM employees and sent those people e-mails purporting to be a representative of the company’s vehicle evaluation program.

The suspect was arraigned on Monday on eight charges of obtaining, possessing and transferring personal identity information, a charge of employing a computer to conduct criminal activity and an unrelated count of stalking, according to the AP. Green was released after paying $5,000 of a $50,000 bond, the AP reports.

“It’s frightening to know that this individual had all this information on a lot of people,” Wickersham told the AP.

Green was caught after a number of the employees who received e-mails from him became suspicious because they were sent from a Yahoo address, according to the AP. Those employees brought the e-mails to the attention of a GM security company, which then alerted local law enforcement, the AP reports.

The private security firm found Green as a suspect, but law enforcement was unable to locate him at his residence, the AP reports.

Macomb County deputies tracked the messages to a computer at a local library, and when they went to the scene to investigate, Green was at the computer with the employee information, according to the AP.

It is unclear how Green obtained the Social Security numbers, but he’s thought to have somehow gleaned them while working for a private security firm at the GM facility, the AP reports.

Though officials have no reason to believe Green put the information to additional illegal uses, all affected workers were notified of the events, according to the AP.

Green’s motive for sending the messages is still unclear, the AP reports.

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Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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