Cybersecurity Pro’s Bold $1.5M Extortion Bid Could Land Him 20 Years Behind Bars

When a cybersecurity guru turns rogue, it’s no joke—except when they demand a 5-year “severance” via email CC’d to reporters. Vincent Cannady upped the ante to “emotional distress” millions or… court drama! #CybersecurityShakedown

Hot Take:

Well, isn’t this a little tale of “When IT Consultants Go Wild”? Vincent Cannady, our cybersecurity expert turned rogue, seems to have mistaken ‘severance negotiation’ for ‘grand heist screenplay.’ With a plot twist that includes a $1.5 million extortion attempt and some heavy-handed email drama, Cannady might just have secured his next gig at the Big House Penitentiary. Who needs firewalls when you’ve got iron bars, right?

Key Points:

  • Vincent Cannady, a cybersecurity expert, is accused of trying to extort $1.5 million from his former employer after being terminated.
  • He allegedly downloaded confidential company data, including server maps and trade secrets, to his personal cloud.
  • His extortion included demands for five years’ salary from his consultancy and ten years’ salary from the IT services company for ’emotional distress.’
  • The IT services company, believed to be Kyndryl, obtained a temporary restraining order to prevent data exposure.
  • Cannady now faces a Hobbs Act extortion charge, which boasts a potential 20-year vacation in federal accommodations.

Need to know more?

The Chronicles of Severance Pay: A Cybersecurity Saga

Once upon a time, in the land of corporate IT, Vincent Cannady, a 57-year-old cybersecurity maven, is alleged to have turned to the dark arts of extortion. After his dismissal from a New York-based IT services company, our anti-hero didn't just pack up his laptop and go home. No, he decided to take a little piece of the company with him—quite literally. He's like the ex that keeps your sweater, only the sweater is a bunch of trade secrets and server maps.

The Severance that Launched a Thousand Ships

When Cannady's consultancy gave him the boot, along with a two-week severance that obviously didn't sit well, he took to his trusty company-issued laptop. He didn't just browse for new job opportunities—oh no—he went on a digital treasure hunt and struck gold. Confidential data gold, that is. And thus, began his not-so-covert operation to turn data into dollars.

Email Drama 101: How Not to Negotiate

With all the finesse of a bull in a china shop, Cannady's alleged negotiation tactics included a flurry of emails that would make even a soap opera writer blush. He copied reporters into his emails, played the health card, and even dangled the files like a carrot on a stick—except instead of a carrot, it was sensitive data, and instead of a stick, it was the threat of legal action. Talk about CC'ing your way to the courtroom.

Emotional Distress or Financial Duress?

Let's peel back the layers of this onion. Cannady claimed 'emotional distress,' demanding a decade's worth of salary as compensation. Because when you're sad, nothing helps like a cool ten years' worth of paychecks, right? It's like emotional support, but make it rain.

The Art of the Deal, or How Not to Write a Bestseller

Vincent Cannady, the would-be author, allegedly threatened to take his story to major broadcasters and secure a book deal. Because nothing says 'bestseller' like corporate espionage and extortion. Well, at least he'd have a captive audience in prison book clubs.

Settlement Shenanigans and the Breakdown Boogie

As negotiations went as smoothly as sandpaper on silk, Cannady's demands were met with a draft settlement that lacked the 'get out of jail free' card he so desperately wanted. Spoiler alert: He didn't sign. And thus, the dance of legalities continued until the music stopped with federal charges.

The Moral of the Story

As US attorney Damian Williams aptly put it, Cannady's alleged actions are a no-go in the world of sensitive information. In the end, our protagonist may find that his 'leverage' is really just a one-way ticket to a lengthy stint of government-sponsored accommodation. And as for the rest of us, let's just say that the world of IT consultancy has never looked so... dramatic.

Tags: Corporate Espionage, data theft, Extortion, Hobbs Act, intellectual property, legal action, trade secrets