On Friday, October 6, 2017, it was announced that the founder of a professional networking website, Oilpro.com, had been sentenced to prison. David W. Kent was sentenced to one year and one day in prison for accessing a protected computer system without authorization. Kent was accused of repeatedly hacking into the computer database of a competitor in order to steal consumer information. Later, the defendant attempting to sell Oilpro to the victimized company.
Around March 2000, Kent founded a website, which offers networking services to professionals working in the oil and gas industry. The website allowed members to create profiles and upload their resumes. This information is stored within the website’s database along with their login credentials. Around August of 2010, Kent sold the website to a publicly traded company based out of New York for approximately $51 million.
Kent originally agreed to continue working for the company. However, he left in September of 2011 and launched Oilpro in October of 2013. Oilpro offers networking services to professionals in the oil and gas industry. Oilpro is based out of Houston, Texas. From October 2013 and February 2016, Kent conspired to access information belonging to Website-1. He did so without authorization from the owner.
During this time, he stole customer information, including information associated with more than 700,000 customer accounts. He then attempted to exploit this information by inviting the website’s members to join Oilpro. One of Oilpro’s employees accessed information associated with the website’s Google Analytics account, without their authorization.
Kent also attempted to defraud Company-1 during acquisition discussions. He explained that Oilpro had increased its membership numbers through standard marketing methods. Again, 41-year-old David W. Kent of Spring, Texas has been sentenced to one year and one day in prison. He will also serve three years of supervised release.