Job-seeking Hungarian pleads guilty to hacking

WASHINGTON — A Hungarian man pleaded guilty Wednesday to hacking into the computer systems of the Marriott hotel chain and threatening to reveal confidential information unless he was given a job. Attila Nemeth, 26, was arrested at Dulles airport in Virginia on January 17 after taking a flight to the United States from Hungary for what he believed was an "employment interview," the Justice Department said. According to Nemeth’s plea agreement, he sent an email to Marriott late last year saying he had obtained proprietary information and would reveal it unless Marriott gave him a job maintaining the company’s computers. A US Secret Service agent posing as a member of Marriott’s human resources team entered into communications with Nemeth and he came to the United States on a ticket bought by Marriott for the job interview. He was arrested after revealing during the interview how he had accessed Marriott’s computer systems, what information he had taken, and where he had stored the data. Nemeth faces up to 10 years in prison for transmitting malicious code to Marriott computers and up to five years in prison for threatening to expose confidential and proprietary information. Sentencing was set for February 3, 2012.

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