Hacker in a dark room

A North Carolina judge sentenced a Washington man this week to 37 months in prison for threatening a company with attacks unless they fire one of their employees and hire him instead.

According to court documents obtained by Bleeping Computer, on April 18, 2016, Todd Michael Gori sent an email to TSI Healthcare, a healthcare software vendor based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Gori, a 28-year-old resident of Wenatchee, Washington, threatened the company with cyber attacks by him and unnamed friends if the company did not fire one of its employees and hire him instead.

Gori's email extortion

"I am giving you, TSI healthcare two choices," Gori wrote in the email. "You either lay-off [identity redacted] and replace her with me, an operator 100x better that she is oppressing. Or I will take out your entire company along with my comrades via a cyber attack."

According to the same letter, Gori was fueled by a personal vendetta after the same employee denied his job application several times in the past.

"Again you have two choices. Get ride of her and hire me. Or slowly be chipped away at until you are gone. She is a horrible operator that can only manage 2 screens with an over inflated travel budget. I fly at least 10x as many places as this loon on 1/5th of the budget," the email reads.

"I have petitioned for a job with you guys with her as a reference as I am a felon with computer skills and need assistance getting work as technically I have 'no work history'. She declines everytime and burries me even further."

Gori then bragged about having pen-tested TSI's website and having found weak security measures.

"'Im giving you guys 72 hours to respond until the attack goes full scale. There is nothing that can be done to stop the attacks. I have ran multiple penetration tests on your entire network and your company fails miserably.

"Again let me be clear. The only way I will work with TSI and stop the attack is to fire [identifying information redacted] and hire me and ensure I am compensated enough ..."

Gori allegedly threatened to shoot TSI employees

Gori did not detail the type of cyber-attack he was preparing. TSI turned to the FBI after receiving the email threat.

Authorities tracked down and arrested Gori in August 2017. According to the original indictment, the FBI charged Gori on more severe charges after they found out he also threatened to buy a gun and shoot TSI employees. Gori signed a plea agreement soon after his arrest, and prosecutors dropped this latter charge.

Besides the 37-month prison stint, Gori also received three years of supervised release.

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