Former Dem Congressional Aide Stole Gigabytes Of ‘High Value’ Data But Pleads Guilty To Lesser Charges

Jackson Cosko, an ex-Democratic staffer, logged keystrokes on hacked Senate computers during heists.

A former Capitol Hill staffer Jackson Cosko accused of doxxing Senators during the Kavanaugh nomination hearings pleaded guilty on Friday to five charges, including witness tampering and computer fraud.

He pleaded guilty in federal court to two counts of making public restricted personal information; one count of computer fraud; one count of witness tampering, and one count of obstruction of justice. 

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A former IT aide to New Hampshire Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan mounted an “extraordinarily extensive data-theft scheme” against the office, the culprit’s plea agreement states.

The plot included the installation of tiny “keylogging” devices that picked up every keystroke. Between July and October 2018, former IT aide Jackson Cosko worked with an unnamed accomplice, a then-current Hassan employee, who repeatedly lent him a key that he used to enter the office at night and who allegedly tried to destroy evidence for him.

Cosko accepted responsibility for the events revealed by federal prosecutors in court Friday.

A statement of facts that Cosko agreed to says that from July to October 2018, he “engaged in an extraordinarily extensive data-theft scheme, copying entire network drives, sorting and organizing sensitive data, and exploring ways to use that data to his benefit,” arranging it into folders such as “high value.” More

The plea agreement states that from July to October 2018, Cosko:

Engaged in an extensive computer fraud and data theft scheme that he carried out by repeatedly burglarizing Senator Hasson’s office. The defendant engaged in an extraordinarily extensive data-theft scheme, copying entire network drives, sorting and organizing sensitive data, and exploring ways to use that data to his benefit…

The defendant gained access to Senator Hassan’s Office by unlawfully obtaining keys from a staffer who was (at the time) still employed in the Office (Subject A). The defendant then used those keys to enter the Senator’s office alone at night….

The defendant surreptitiously installed ‘keylogger’ devices on at least six computers in Senator Hassan’s Office…. designed to record the keystrokes that Senate stafers typed on their Senate-owned computers – including the keystrokes that comprised usernames and passwords.

On October 3, 2018, the defendant met with Subject A, to return Subject A’s key… defendant told Subject A to wipe down all of the computers, keyboards and computer mice…

Why on earth would they negotiate a plea to reduce his potential time from 50+ years down to a few years in a Club Fed? What did he give up to get that deal?

He should serve the full 50+ years. He willfully and with malicious intent broke all kinds of laws.

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