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One Danger of Hacking Into Your Former Company's E-Mail

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Forgetting that digital footprints are indelibly imprinted in cyberspace can - and has - led some people, like Michael Mussachio, to wrongly believe they can engage in industrial espionage without being caught.

Thankfully, I can scarcely imagine the surprise Mussachio felt when reading the indictment against him, which contained a healthy dose of language pulled directly from his emails with his associates - even though he thought he had deleted those emails.

After waiting for his non-compete with his old company to expire, Musacchio poached some key employees from his old employer, including the key person in the company's IT department and some executives. But that isn't how he achieved his competitive advantage; it was by illegally hacking into his former company's emails, and then using that information to beat them to the punch. Repeatedly.

Eventually, his former company suspected something was amiss, and alerted the authorities.

And now, although it took about 4 years, Mussachio has been sentenced to 63 months in prison for illegal hacking.

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