Insider tries to rip-off Cube after hacking firm he bought to Cube

David W. Kent thought he may get away with hacking into an organization he bought to DHI Group Inc. (Cube), construct up the competing firm he created, then promote the brand new firm to Cube once more. No cube.

As a substitute, Kent faces a yr and a day in federal jail for repeatedly hacking into a pc database to which he was not approved. The 366-day sentence was imposed by U.S. District Choose Denise L. Cote, who commented, “This was a betrayal of belief, a breach of loyalty, and a stage of deceit and dishonesty that was very unhappy and disappointing.”

In accordance with the Division of Justice (DOJ), Performing Manhattan U.S. Lawyer Joon H. Kim mentioned: “David Kent admitted to hacking right into a competitor’s pc community and stealing shopper knowledge to spice up the worth of Oilpro, an organization he based. Kent then tried to promote Oilpro — an organization he grew utilizing the stolen info — to the very firm he had hacked. For his legal makes an attempt to achieve an unfair enterprise edge, Kent has now been sentenced to jail.”          

Kent’s again story: Rigzone and Oilpro

In March 2000, Kent based a social community portal particular to the oil and gasoline business, Rigzone. The idea was like that of LinkedIn, the place members created profiles and uploaded their resumes to a database. Employers would submit jobs and evaluation resumes to search out new hires. Rigzone made its cash by charging charges to firms and through promoting.

Cube purchased Rigzone in August 2010. It paid $39 million in money and a further $16 million upon achievement of milestones throughout the next 10 months.

In 2010, Rigzone had 270,000 resumes and was visited by over 500,000 distinctive guests a month.

Kent’s continued engagement was a part of the deal. He left Rigzone in September 2011, and in October 2013, when his two-year non-compete settlement expired, he based Oilpro, which might instantly compete with Rigzone.

Hacker breadcrumbs resulting in Kent’s arrest

Because the creator of Rigzone, and as a trusted insider, Kent had intimate data on how the business portal operated. Such was this information, the DOJ tells us within the legal grievance, that he was in a position to siphon off the resumes and speak to info of the Rigzone membership. It wasn’t lengthy till one of many members complained to Rigzone in regards to the unsolicited inquiry they acquired from Oilpro, which was based mostly on the knowledge contained within the particular person’s Rigzone profile. The primary Oilpro breadcrumb.

Rigzone investigated. They discovered zero queries on the person’s profile. They weren’t in a position to kind out how the knowledge was accessed, in order that they salted the database. 

Taking a web page from the mailing listing leases of outdated, in April 2014, Rigzone put two fictitious entries into the corpus. These two fictitious entries shortly thereafter acquired a solicitation from the “new” portal, Oilpro. A evaluation of the logs confirmed no inquiries had been product of the fictional particular person’s accounts. Entry was occurring in one other method. The second Oilpro breadcrumb.

Rigzone dug deeper. They found that between October 2013 and April 2014, that they had 100,000 requests made to the Rigzone members database. The request contained the “get resume” command. Oilpro obtained 96,000 resumes through this system. The legal grievance notes that Oilpro’s membership elevated dramatically.

Then, between June 2015 and August 2015, Olipro took a second go at Rigzone. On this occasion, they exploited a file known as “resume_writer.asp” utilizing the distinctive command construction to avail to themselves to roughly 700,000 resumes.

Oilpro additionally accessed the Rigzone Google Analytics account and was in a position to decide the precise variety of guests and their exercise inside the portal.

Maybe Kent wasn’t the brightest bulb within the chandelier. He used 33 totally different IP addresses to assault Rigzone, which included various IP addresses registered to Single Built-in Operations Portal Inc. (SIOPCO), a Houston-based firm co-founded by Kent in April 2012. The third and ultimate Oilpro breadcrumb.

Kent’s greed issue

Shortly after purloining the primary batch of resumes, Kent reached out to the CEO of Cube to debate attainable acquisition, in accordance with the legal grievance. Then in October 2015, he engaged the CEO once more, particularly asking Cube to buy Oilpro for $20 million. Unbeknownst to Kent, the breadcrumbs have been ample proof to Cube that that they had recognized Oilpro they usually introduced the FBI into the combination. Kent was arrested in March 2016. 

The $51 million buy of Rigzone by Cube, of which Kent is believed to have acquired 70 %, was apparently inadequate. Kent’s greed took over and he tried to promote to Cube that which he stole from Cube.

Oilpro shut down completely on July 31, 2017, and went offline on Aug. 2, 2017.

Cube’s day in courtroom is coming

DHI Group (Cube) introduced go well with towards Kent, Estevan Dufrin, Bryan Robins, Matthew Kent, Jeremy Antonini, and Oilpro in June 2016. In July 2017, in accordance with federal courtroom paperwork, this civil go well with was ordered “Stayed” till Kent was sentenced.

Previous to the keep, Kent had agreed throughout mediation to pay $2.9 million in restitution, contingent upon DHI aiding Kent in his legal case, courtroom transcripts inform us. Nevertheless, DHI wasn’t going to help the gent who tried to rip-off them.

Primarily based on a evaluation of the July 7, 2017, standing convention, Kent’s attorneys will try and carry the quantity of restitution/damages down from the agreed $2.9 million to $120,000. Choose Nancy Ok. Johnson of the U.S. District Court docket for the Southern District of Texas, famous wryly to Kent’s legal professional, “Judges don’t wish to take again the orders that they signal, so good luck with that.”

On Sept. 28, 2017, DHI’s request to elevate the keep occurred, and the courtroom has ordered a standing convention to happen on Oct. 16, 2017.


Disclosure: Christopher Burgess is a daily contributor to DHI’s Clearancejobs weblog.


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