Utah Police Say Hacker Caused $180,000 in Damages

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According to The Deseret News' Andrew Adams, federal court filings state that cyber attacks launched against the Web sites of the Salt Lake Police Department and the Utah Chiefs of Police Association earlier this year resulted in losses of almost $180,000 -- $147,000 for the chiefs' association site and $32,797 for the police department site.

"Suspected hacker John Anthony Borell -- who is awaiting a January trial for computer intrusion charges -- claims in the court documents the discovery the government has provided 'is so deficient that the defense had to hire an expert witness to advise on whether or not the claimed loss amounts are reasonable,'" Adams writes. "A breakdown of costs from the Utah Chiefs of Police Association included in one filing includes a subcategory for 'reputation control.'"

"Salt Lake City Police provided a single-page sheet to show the financial expense it incurred after the attack; that shows some 38 different employees spent a total of 383.25 hours, at the rate of $77.42 per hour, to bring the website back in service. ... In a letter to the agencies and in a court document, Borell’s attorney says loss amounts should be limited to restoring the Web sites to their original condition, not to make them more secure or ... for 'reputation control," writes The Salt Lake Tribune's Brooke Adams.

"As experts highlight, if the proper security mechanisms were missing and the hacker gained access easily to their system, the loss estimates might be incorrect because the victims share part of the blame for the intrusion," writes Softpedia's Eduard Kovacs.