Former San Jose Earthquakes stadium employee gets prison sentence for hacking online concessions system | #computerhacking | #hacking

A man who pleaded guilty to hacking the San Jose Earthquakes’ online concessions management system on the team’s opening day last year was sentenced to 20 months in prison and ordered to pay $268,733 for lost revenue and damages, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Wednesday.

Salvatore La Rosa, 41, pleaded guilty on Feb. 17 in federal court in San Jose to one count of intentional damage to a protected computer. He was ordered on Wednesday to pay a $5,000 fine in addition to restitution.

A U.S. district judge also sentenced La Rosa to a three-year period of supervised release.

La Rosa was charged in October last year with accessing the stadium’s online concessions management account without permission during the first home game of the Earthquakes’ 2020 Major League Soccer season.

La Rosa was a former employee of Spectra Food Services and Hospitality, which provides services to the stadium, and worked at the stadium as an operations and premium services manager until he was fired in January 2020, officials said.

Officials said La Rosa admitted to logging into the Earthquakes Stadium system from his home and deleting the concessions menu and payment selections. The deletion caused point-of-sale tablets to stop working on opening day and credit cards could not be accepted, authorities said.

Employees were forced to hand-write orders and use calculators to complete cash transactions, resulting in delays that led to lost sales. Spectra also provided free food and beverages to some club members because of its inability to process credit card transactions, officials said.

According to the case filings, staff were also subjected to verbal abuse from frustrated and angry customers.

In an attempt to regain customers’ trust, Spectra and the San Jose Earthquakes offered a 50% discount on all concessions on March 7, 2020, officials said.

In total, Spectra lost $268,733 in damages, revenue loss, concession discounts offered during the March 7 game, and employee time and labor costs to repair the damage to the data, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

La Rosa is out of custody on bond. He will begin serving his sentence on July 28, officials said.

Vanessa Arredondo is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: Twitter: @v_anana

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