Investigation is now underway into whether a computer programmer allegedly stole proprietary information from the automaker Toyota and “sabotaged” the company’s supplier computer network after being terminated last week.
According to a complaint filed late last week (.PDF) in the U.S. District Court of Lexington, Ibrahimshah Shahulhameed “sabotaged various internal programs” at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Inc., in Georgetown, Ky. In doing so, Shahulhameed allegedly caused the network to crash, brought ToyotaSupplier.com offline and “downloaded proprietary and confidential information for his own improper use.”
Toyota claims the information on ToyotaSupplier.com is “highly confidential” and includes pricing, quality and parts testing data along with proprietary design information belonging to the automaker. The site acts as an intermediary for Toyota, its dealerships and other car suppliers.
According to the complaint, Shahulhameed, who was doing contract work through Wisconsin-based GlobalSourceIT, was let go from the car manufacturer on Aug. 23, yet allegedly infiltrated the system at midnight that night and continued to work until 6:30 a.m. Aug. 24.
U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell issued a restraining order (.PDF) last Friday prohibiting Shahulhameed from “accessing, using, or disseminating” any of Toyota’s property and trade secrets he may have accessed. Judge Caldwell followed that up on Monday with an order that bars (.PDF) Shahulhameed from leaving the country for fourteen days as the court and Toyota continue to review the case.
“It will take days for Toyota’s IT department to determine the full extent of its damage as a result of [Shahulhameed’s] efforts to sabotage its system,” reads one part of the complaint, submitted by Toyota’s Lexington area lawyer Mindy Barfield.