May 12, 2006 5:34 PM PDT

Ex-government employee sentenced for hacking

A former computer security specialist at the Department of Education has been sentenced to five months in prison for hacking into his supervisor's PC.

Kenneth Kwak, 34, of Chantilly, Va., admitted to installing remote control software on the computer and using that access to read his supervisor's e-mail and monitor other Internet activity, the U.S Department of Justice said in a statement Friday. Kwak shared this information with others in his office, the DOJ said.

Kwak pleaded guilty last month to one count of intentionally gaining unauthorized access to a government computer and thereby obtaining information, the DOJ said. He was sentenced on Friday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The five-month sentence is to be followed by five months of home confinement.

As part of the sentence, Kwak was also ordered to pay the U.S. government $40,000 in restitution. He will be on parole for three years.

Kwak was responsible for securing Department of Education computers. His prosecution was part of the "zero-tolerance policy" recently adopted by the U.S. Attorney's Office regarding intrusions into U.S. government computer systems, the DOJ said.

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