Montville, New Jersey Indian Ankur Agarwal (45) was sentenced to 94 months in prison perpetrating a sophisticated computer hacking scheme against two New Jersey companies and stealing their data on September 1, 2020 in Newark federal court.
Ankur Agarwal pleaded guilty on October 22, 2019 before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton in Newark federal court to two counts of obtaining information from computers and one count of aggravated identity theft.
According to case documents and statements made in court:
Agarwal admitted that beginning in February 2017 he physically trespassed onto a company’s premises in New Jersey (Company One) and illegally installed hardware key-logger devices onto the company’s computers. The key-logger devices covertly recorded the keystrokes of the company’s employees and provided Agarwal with their usernames and passwords. Agarwal also surreptitiously installed his personal computer and a hard drive onto the company’s computer network. Using the fraudulently obtained logon credentials, Agarwal hacked into the company’s computer network and targeted various employees, including employees developing an emerging technology. Agarwal admitted that he stole, transferred, and exfiltrated Company One’s data and information, including its emerging technology. Agarwal also created a computer malicious code, which he installed onto the company’s computer systems and used to steal and transfer the date to himself.
Agarwal also admitted that he hacked into, targeted, and stole data and information from a second company in New Jersey (Company Two). Using the same general scheme, Agarwal physically trespassed onto Company Two’s premises, illegally installed hardware key-logger devices onto the company’s computers, installed his personal computer and a hard drive onto the company’s computer network, and stole, transferred, and exfiltrated Company Two’s data and information, including an emerging technology that Company Two was developing.
Agarwal also obtained unauthorized access into an employee’s computer system and then fraudulently created an access badge for himself. This fraudulently obtained access badge, bearing another individual’s name, allowed Agarwal to physically trespass onto Company Two’s premises.
In addition to the 94 months prison term, Ankur Agarwal was sentenced to three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay a fine of $25,000.