Cybercrime

Ex-Century 21 Employee in NYC Breaches Payroll Data, Gives Others Paid Holidays: DA

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A New York City man has been arrested after he allegedly hacked into Century 21's payroll system and gave some of his former co-workers paid holidays regardless of whether they worked or not.

Hector Navarro started working as a systems administrator at the department store's Manhattan location in 2012 and before his resignation in October 2019, prosecutors say he stole employee data and created a "superuser" account that allowed him to access the company's private network after he's no longer an employee.

The Manhattan District Attorney's office said Wednesday that the 30-year-old from Brooklyn accessed the account from his apartment and tampered with other user accounts, including deleting data related to his replacements so that they could not access Century 21’s networks.

Navarro is also accused of making changes to the company’s holiday payroll policy that would have paid certain employees for holidays even if they didn't work on those dates. Century 21 discovered the data breach after Navarro's replacements could not get into the system, prosecutors said.

“If left undetected, this former employee’s alleged tampering could have cost Century 21 more than $50,000,” said District Attorney Cy Vance.

Navarro was charged with Attempted Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, Computer Tampering in the Third Degree, Computer Trespass, and Petit Larceny, among others, according to the DA's office.

In response, Navarro's attorney says, "Mr. Navarro has fully cooperated with the DA's office since the inception of this investigation and looks forward to resolving this matter in court."

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