U.S. attorney

Chicago Man Charged With Hacking Company's Servers After Termination

A Chicago man was charged with damaging the servers of a north suburban industrial supply company after his employment was terminated in February 2016.

Edward Soybel, 34, was charged with 10 counts of intentionally damaging protection computers, one count of attempting to cause damage to protected computers and one count of attempting to access a protected computer without authorization, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Soybel illegally accessed Lake Forest-based W.W. Grainger Inc.’s servers on multiple occasions in 2016, the U.S. attorney’s office said. He intentionally damaged the company’s automated inventory management program, which operates on-site dispensing machines an has about 18,000 customers throughout the country. The dispensing machines provide customers with secure access to durable products, such as safety equipment.

Soybel worked as a technical support contractor at Grainger’s facility in Niles from November 2014 to February 2016 when he was terminated, the U.S. attorney’s office said. His access to the servers was deactivated when he was terminated, but he hacked into them on several occasions in July 2016.

Soybel was arrested Wednesday morning and remains in federal custody, the U.S. attorney’s office said. He pleaded not guilty to the charges in an arraignment Wednesday afternoon.

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