A former Indian student has been sentenced to 12 months in prison followed by one year of supervised release. The man, identified as a 27-year-old Vishwanath Akuthota, was found guilty of intentionally damaging computer equipment. Akuthota studied at the College of St Rose in New York, United States. He has been order to pay an amount of $58,471 (around Rs 41,74,975) as restitution for damaging computer equipment owned by the institution. Vishwanath reportedly hailed from Andhra Pradesh’s Chittoor district. Also Read - Top fitness bands under Rs 3,000 to buy in India in August 2019
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According to The News Minute, Vishwanath had pursued Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Computer Information Systems (CIS) at the university. In pleading guilty, he admitted to inserting a “USB Killer” device into 66 computers on February 14, 2019. This is in addition to numerous computer monitors and computer-enhanced podiums owned by the college in Albany. The “USB Killer” device, when inserted into a USB port, causes the on-board capacitor to rapidly charge and then discharge repeatedly. The US Attorney’s office notes that this overloads and physically destroys the computer’s USB port and electrical system. Also Read - Nasscom raises concerns over latest proposal on H1-B visas by US government
“Akuthota is a citizen of India, residing in the United States on a student visa. He has been in custody since he was arrested in North Carolina on February 22, 2019,” the US Attorney s office said.
The officials investigating submitted abundant evidence to the court. It also included CCTV footage of the entire incident. The officials told the court that Vishwanath recorded himself as he used “USB Killer” device to destroy the computers. The videos of the same were also submitted to the court.
The case was reportedly investigated by James N. Hendricks, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the FBI. Chief Eric Hawkins of the Albany Police Department (APD) assisted the FBI in this case. The case against Akuthota was prosecuted by Assistant US Attorney Wayne A Myers. The cause for Akuthota’s actions have not been revealed yet.