Ex-Fannie Mae Contractor ConvictedDisgruntled Programmer Faces 10-Year Sentence
Rajendrasinh Babubhai Makwana, 36, of Montgomery County, Md., was charged with computer intrusion after inserting malicious script to Fannie Mae's computer servers.
Had the malware not been discovered shortly after the programmer's termination, it could have shut down Fannie's systems completely for a week or more and would have cost millions to repair and restore data on the firm's nearly 5,000 computer servers.
Makwana, an Indian citizen, had worked as a software engineer at Fannie Mae's offices in Urbana, Md., since 2006 and for three years was given access to all of the firm's servers.
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, Makwana was fired on October 24, 2008 and told to turn in all of his Fannie Mae equipment, including his laptop. On October 29, a Fannie Mae senior engineer discovered a malicious script embedded in a routine program. A subsequent analysis of the script, computer logs, Makwana's laptop and other evidence revealed that Makwana had transmitted the malicious code on October 24, and it was intended to execute on January 31, 2009.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation agent investigating the case says Makwana allegedly embedded the destructive code, designed to wipe out all data across the network by overwriting the data with zeroes. FBI agent Jessica Nye says in a sworn statement that anyone who would have tried to log onto the network after that time would receive the message "Server Graveyard."
After being told he was terminated, Makwana hid a code in server software. "Had this malicious script executed, engineers expect it would have caused millions of dollars of damage and reduced if not shutdown operations at for at least one week," Nye states. "The total damage would include cleaning out and restoring all 4,000 of Fannie Mae's servers, restoring and securing the automation of mortgages, and restoring all data that was erased."
Makwana faces 10 years in prison at his sentencing on Dec. 8.