‘Lifelock’ hacker pleads guilty to extortion from medical clinics


An Idaho man who hacked and extorted medical clinics and a police department pleaded guilty Tuesday in Georgia federal court to computer fraud and abuse charges.

Robert Purbeck, who used the aliases “Lifelock” and “Studmaster,” stole the personal information of more than 130,000 people, according to a version of the Northern District of Georgia announcing the guilty plea. In 2017 and 2018, he purchased stolen credentials on the dark web and hacked the networks of a medical clinic in Griffin, Georgia, as well as the police department in the nearby town of Newman. He targeted at least 17 other victims, the DOJ said.

“Purbeck… used these stolen credentials to hack into the city’s computer systems and steal files consisting of police reports and documents, which included personal information on more than 14,000 people,” they said. declared.

At the time of the Purbeck’s 2021 indictmentProsecutors alleged he also stole personal information from a Locust Grove, Ga., medical office and a Florida orthodontist, whom he then tried to extort by threatening to sell personal information relating to the minor child of the orthodontist and by sending emails and SMS to patients.

“Purbeck hacked into the computer systems of our district and across the country, stole large amounts of personal information, and compounded his crimes by using sensitive data in a blatant attempt to extort his victims,” the prosecutor said American Ryan K. Buchanan. “Cyberattacks against healthcare facilities and local governments pose a serious risk to the security of personal information. »

Before his arrest, a man using the hacker name Lifelock corresponded with the site DataBreaches.net regarding a break-in at an eye surgery center in Holland, Michigan.

The hacker reportedly demanded a ransom from the clinic, and when the ransom was not paid and the theft of information was not reported, Lifelock implored the DataBreaches administrator to “Please , find a way to let the people of the Netherlands know that they have been victims of a violation and that the people who took the Hippocratic oath to do no harm, have done them immense harm. The center finally reported the violation, apparently two years after the incident.

Purbeck will be sentenced in June and, as part of his plea agreement, will pay $1 million in restitution to the victims.

Get more information with the

Future saved

Intelligence cloud.

Learn more.

Leave a comment