Indian student in US sentenced to one-year imprisonment along with Rs 41 lakh fine for damaging college computers

WASHINGTON: An Indian student was sentenced to 12 months in prison, to be followed by one year of supervised release, for intentionally damaging computer equipment of a college in New York.

Vishwanath Akuthota, 27, of Albany was also ordered to pay USD 58,471(INR 41 lakhas restitution charge, United States Attorney Grant C Jaquith said on Tuesday.

Pleading guilty, Akuthota admitted that on February 14 he inserted a “USB Killer” device into 66 computers, as well as numerous computer monitors and computer-enhanced podiums, owned by the College of St Rose in Albany.

The device, when inserted into a computer’s USB port, sends a command causing the computer’s on-board capacitors to rapidly charge and then discharge repeatedly, thereby overloading and physically destroying the USB port and electrical system.

Akuthota is a citizen of India and was residing in the United States on a student visa.

He has been in custody since his arrest in North Carolina on February 22.