Man charged with hacking San Francisco employer, after being fired for porn on work computer

SAN FRANCISCO — A Bay Area man has been indicted on charges of allegedly causing $220,000 in damage to his former employer, a bank, after being fired for allegedly having pornography on his work computer.

Miklos “Daniel” Brody, 37, was indicted this month on charges of intentionally damaging a protected computer and obtaining information from a protected computer. He was originally charged last year, but details of the alleged crimes were kept under seal until recently.

The criminal complaint, filed in March 2021, says Brody denied knowingly keeping or watching pornography on his work computer and later told a former colleague he thought the firing was “harsh and cruel” especially given the coronavirus pandemic. He also denied hacking his employer’s computer in the days after his termination.

Brody’s initial court appearance last year saw him released on an unsecured $25,000 bond. During the hearing, he asked U.S. Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim to carefully explain the court process to him, asking if he could drive around San Francisco or work from home while on pretrial release. He also pleaded to be able to use his cellphone, saying he was “blind” without it.

“I’m still getting the hang of this. I’m not a criminal,” Brody said.

The criminal complaint alleges that in March 2020, Brody was fired from his job as a cloud engineer at the First Republic Bank in San Francisco after the company allegedly found evidence that USB drives containing pornography files had been plugged into his work computer. Brody said he got the USB drives from a friend and that he believed they contained the movie “The Matrix” and he was trying to watch it while he was out sick.

After his firing, Brody failed to return his work computer, logged into the company’s computer system, and “began running scripts to delete code and damage the software infrastructure,” the complaint alleges. The indictment alleges he emailed himself a First Republic Bank code worth more than $5,000.

In an email with a colleague, Brody denied he’d done anything improper after his firing and lambasted his former employer, the complaint says.

“You guys and frankly FRB left me in a financial hardship situation in the middle of the corona virus outbreak with this sudden termination and no severance package,” he allegedly wrote. “In my opinion this is especially harsh and cruel given my ~2 years of service and hard work with good faith and excellent performance. Plugging in a USB and trying to watch a movie when someone’s sick should be no grounds for this treatment.”

‘I’m not a criminal’: Man charged with hacking San Francisco employer, after being fired for porn on work computer

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