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Former Amazon Employee Accused of Hacking Capital One Threatened to ‘Shoot Up’ a Social Media Company

The FBI and Amazon are working to figure out if Paige Thompson, who was arrested on Monday, also accessed data from other companies and organizations.
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The Seattle woman accused of a massive hack of personal and financial data from Capital One Financial Corporation threatened to shoot up an unnamed California social media company, according to court records.

Paige Thompson was arrested during a raid of her house Monday morning and charged with illegally accessing Capital One’s files. More than 100 million people were affected by the breach, which included names, dates of birth, and about 140,000 Social Security numbers, the bank said.

Federal officials also arrested her landlord, Park Quan, after finding more than a dozen guns and explosive materials in his bedroom, prosecutors said. In arguing that Quan should be detained, prosecutors said late Wednesday that Thompson was the “subject of one or more restraining orders and had made express threats to harm others and herself.”

“In fact, in late May 2019, Person 1 threatened to ‘shoot up’ the office of a California social media company,” prosecutors wrote in a filing, referring to Thompson. A person familiar with the case said that “Person 1” is Thompson.

Thompson’s lawyers didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

The allegation about the shooting threat was earlier reported by The Associated Press.

Quan, who has at least three prior felony convictions, was charged as a felon in possession of a firearm, according to prosecutors. His attorney didn’t respond to a request seeking comment.

Thompson, a former Amazon employee, was charged with computer fraud and abuse. A tipster alerted Capital One to the breach on July 17.

In the days since the arrest, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Amazon have been trying to determine if Thompson illegally accessed data from other companies and entities that are mentioned in her social media postings.

One of those was Michigan State University. Spokeswoman Emily Guerrant said the school was working with the FBI to determine if its computer system was breached. “Other than the old chat logs, we have no evidence to suggest MSU was compromised,” she said.

UniCredit, Italy’s largest bank, also said it was investigating the possibility of a breach, as did Ford Motor Co. and the Ohio Department of Transportation, according to Dow Jones. On Thursday, Linda Lacewell, New York’s financial services superintendent, said UniCredit, which is regulated in the state, had alerted her office to “the possible loss of consumer data related to the Capital One data breach.” Lacewell said in a statement that her office is “deeply concerned and is examining the matter.”

A spokeswoman for the Ohio agency said it’s working with the FBI to determine if files were accessed.

Amazon said Wednesday it had reached out to cloud-computing customers mentioned in online postings by Thompson, but had found no proof she was able to exploit similar flaws at those companies.

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