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Man allegedly hacked former business

FAIRMONT — A Fairmont man is facing a felony charge in Martin County.

Nathan Edward Tirevold, 34, has been charged with damaging a computer system, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

According to the complaint:

A Martin County Sheriff’s deputy took a report regarding the destruction of data from the computer system of a local company. The deputy learned that at about 1:40 p.m. June 14, Tirevold was terminated from his employment with Beemer Companies in Fairmont. Tirevold was the company’s director of operations and held several passwords for computer programs to operate the business.

Prior to Tirevold’s termination, Beemer Companies deactivated what it thought were all of Tirevold’s passwords and accounts that he held with the company. During the termination, Beemer Companies advised Tirevold that his accesses were deactivated and he was warned not to attempt to harm the company through any electronic measures. Shortly after Tirevold was dropped off following his termination, the company began to notice problems with its scheduling software program and, as a safety precaution, the company powered down all of its computers.

On June 17, employees of the company returned to work and it was discovered that several files and documents had been deleted from the company’s inter-office drive. The company’s weekly schedule also had been deleted. The owners advised that they have had this software for about six years and have never had a problem with it.

As they began investigating the issue, they discovered that one of the company computers had not been powered down over the weekend, and that some software had been active on the computer. The software is a program that allows a person to remotely take over a computer and make changes.

Tirevold and one of the owners are the only individuals who have passwords for the program, and the password had been overlooked when Tirevold was terminated. The program log shows that at 0034 hours on June 15, “Nate Tirevold” was accessing the computer remotely.

A computer consulting company was hired to restore the deleted data. It is estimated that the cost was in excess of $5,000.

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