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Atlanta Worker Hacked Ex-Employers Database


An Atlanta man could receive up to five years in prison after pleading guilty Wednesday to hacking into a former employer's patient database, stealing information and then wiping the database clean. Federal prosecutors said Eric McNeal, 37, used the patient information from a firm identified as "A.P.A." for a direct marketing campaign at his new employer in the same building. McNeal was an information technology specialist for the perinatal medical practice in Atlanta in November 2009 when he left to join the competing perinatal practice.

McNeal used his home computer to hack into his former employer in April 2010, prosecutors said in a release.He downloaded patients' names, addresses and telephone numbers and then cleared his former employer's database, deleting all patient information from its system, prosecutors said. While he used the information for a direct-mail marketing campaign for the benefit of his new employer, there was no evidence McNeal misused the personal information he obtained, prosecutors said.

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