Indian programmer charged with hacking into Toyota’s network

Washington: An Indian computer programmer has been charged by the FBI for hacking into Toyota’s computer network and sabotaging it, after he was fired by his company that provided IT services to the Japanese automobile major.

Ibrahimshah Shahulhameed, who provided contractual services for Toyota Motor Manufacturing in central Kentucky, allegedly hacked into the company’s website and issued wrong commands leading to the crashing of the firm’s supplier computer network.

The man was charged with computer fraud in that he “knowingly caused the transmission of programmes, information, codes, and commands, and … intentionally caused damage, without authorisation, to a protected computer,” according to an affidavit in support of an arrest warrant filed in a US District Court.

Shahulhameed was a former employee of a company called GlobalSource IT, which had assigned him to provide computer services to Toyota, reported.

GlobalSource IT fired him in August for allegedly harassing another employee who was also assigned to work at Toyota, according to a criminal court affidavit signed by special FBI agent Adam Keown.

The disgruntled programmer then logged on to Toyota’s systems and issued commands that slowed down the functions.

“Following his termination, Mr Shahulhameed accessed Toyota’s computer system and caused damage without authorisation,” the affidavit said.

Shahulhameed, who is being held at a detention centre, had told Toyota officials that he planned to return to India, according to the local paper.

Toyota spokesman Rick Hesterberg had said earlier that Toyota officials don’t think sensitive company material from Toyota’s computer system had been distributed.