Before this year, nobody knew the name Paige Thompson, but techies now know her as the Queen of the Capital One hack – a disgruntled insider who helped herself to immense amounts of personal information including some 140,000 U.S. Social Security numbers and a lot more, involving some reported 100 million accounts tied to those who bought into Cap1’s “what’s in your wallet?” appeal.
Now with Thompson in custody, prosecutors are trying to paint a broader picture of the cyber-criminal, perhaps in a move to increase or deny bail.
News breaking in CNET today cites a prosecutor memo that accused Thompson of hitting more than 30 other businesses along with Capital One.
The prosecutor’s memo didn’t name these other companies, but it did also take a more sensational tack as well, describing Thompson as a danger to herself and others.
According to prosecutors, she reportedly made threats to of gun violence and talked about committing ‘suicide by cop.’
Prosecutors also pointed to a restraining order that was part of her record in the past.
Relevant to the kinds of exposés we often hear after criminal behavior, prosecutors also said Thompson’s roommate had a stockpile of over 14 guns, despite a prior felony conviction that disqualified him from owning firearms. Prosecutors seem to want to make the jump to concluding that if Thompson had wanted to do something violent, she could have easily accessed quite a large arsenal. That’s a bit “minority report” for those who don’t want to take prosecutor announcements without large grains of salt, but it does show a troubling atmosphere surrounding some pretty brash hacking.
For more on who Paige Thompson is, you can go to venues like Heavy to find out about her use of the moniker “erratic” and the erratic nature of her transgression – meanwhile, the case will be winding its way through the courts.
The more financial details of this case are going to shake out slowly. We’ll keep an eye on the details of the data breach as they emerge in court documents, because the Capital One hack was one of the more prominent data breach events this year. Companies are getting better at circling the wagons and protecting sensitive data – but hackers are also out there upping their games.