Indian Student in US Sentenced to 1-Year in Prison for Damaging University Computers

Laptops/Tablets

An Indian student was sentenced to 12 months in prison, to be followed by one year of supervised release, for intentionally damaging computer equipment of a college in New York.

Vishwanath Akuthota, 27, of Albany was also ordered to pay $58,471 (roughly Rs. 41.7 lakhs) as restitution charge, United States Attorney Grant C Jaquith said on Tuesday.

Pleading guilty, Akuthota admitted that on February 14 he inserted a “USB Killer” device into 66 computers, as well as numerous computer monitors and computer-enhanced podiums, owned by the College of St Rose in Albany.

The device, when inserted into a computer’s USB port, sends a command causing the computer’s on-board capacitors to rapidly charge and then discharge repeatedly, thereby overloading and physically destroying the USB port and electrical system.

Akuthota is a citizen of India and was residing in the United States on a student visa. He has been in custody since his arrest in North Carolina on February 22.

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