An unlicensed private investigator from Florida was arrested for attempting to gain unauthorized access to a computer in New York City. A global charity that remains anonymous experienced nearly 400,000 attempts to gain access to its computer network between June and July of 2015. The attempted intrusions disrupted the ability of employees to access their email and conduct business.
Investigators were able to determine that the attacks were coming from computers associated with two IP addresses that Timothy Sedlak subscribed to at his home.
Although Sedlak lists himself as working with Surveillance Associates, LLC on LinkedIn, he does not have a license to work as a PI in the state. The company is registered under his name.
Secret Service agents served a search warrant at his house and seized 30 computers and notes that were related to the charity, which included the names of someone publicly linked to the charity, along with one of its executives. Sedlak had a list of the employees’ email account user names for the charities along with a password-cracking tool that attempted to uncover the correct password.
Sedlak claimed that he was investigating charities to determine if they were sending funds to Middle Eastern charities that had been seized by Islamic militants. If so, the charities would have been unintentionally financing Jihadist groups. According to Sedlak, he was working for clients that he wouldn’t name.
Sedlak was arrested in Ocoee, Florida and is now facing charges for computer hacking in Orlando. Sedlak faces up to five years in prison if convicted.