Feds file fraud charge in Columbia Sportswear hacking case

Feds file fraud charge in Columbia Sportswear hacking case. Federal prosecutors sent a message to would-be hackers Thursday, filing a single count of computer fraud against Michael Leeper, the former Columbia Sportswear information technology manager who allegedly continued to log in to the company's computer system for years after he quit. Prosecutors claim he continued to access Columbia's system for more than two years with the hopes of commercial gain. In March, Columbia filed a civil lawsuit against Leeper and Denali Advanced Integration, his new employer, claiming Leeper hacked into the Columbia system hundreds of time. Columbia claims it terminated Leeper's regular network account. Leeper denied any wrongdoing and claimed Columbia knew he was getting into the company's system. He also argued that his hacking had not caused any harm to the Portland outdoor apparel and footwear company. The civil case is pending. Sam Kaufman, the Portland attorney representing Leeper, declined comment on the criminal case, as did Columbia officials. -- Jeff Manning 503-294-7606, jmanning@oregonian.com
When a former employee hacked into Columbia Sportswear's computer network, the company called it a
When a former employee hacked into Columbia Sportswear’s computer network, the company called it a “flagrant invasion.” Federal prosecutors claim it was a crime. (Mark Graves/The Oregonian)

Federal prosecutors sent a message to would-be hackers Thursday, filing a single count of computer fraud against Michael Leeper, the former Columbia Sportswear information technology manager who allegedly continued to log in to the company’s computer system for years after he quit.

Leeper worked for Columbia for 14 years, topping out as director of technical infrastructure, which gave him virtually unlimited access to Columbia’s…

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