Raleigh police said Clayton Taylor Dillard, a 29-year-old information security consultant, is charged with one felony count of computer trespass, one felony count of unlawful computer access and one misdemeanor count of computer trespass.
They said the charges against Dillard resulted from an intrusion that occurred to a wireless computer network at Wake Internal Medicine Consultants Inc.
After Dillard accessed the information, he contacted patients and insurance companies. He also wrote WRAL a letter, stating, "These guys are a bunch of bozos." He also mailed WRAL copies of checks and insurance forms with patient names and procedures.
Dillard wrote that he did not care about the information, but he "wanted to show the company's computer security was lax" and that even "a fool could have hacked in."
Investigators say the end does not justify the means.
"It doesn't matter. He wasn't authorized to do what he did, and what he did was illegal," said Sgt. Gary Hinnant, who heads up the Cyber Crimes Unit for the Raleigh Police Department.
Wake Internal Medicine Executive Director Steve Lauhoff said actual patient medical records were never accessed.
"We made the correction and our network, I can say with confidence, is to the highest industry standard right now," he said.
Last year, WRAL reported on what computer hackers call
." By driving around with a wireless laptop, WRAL detected dozens of unprotected computers. The case, which is thought to be among the first to result in an arrest being made in conjunction with a wireless "hacking," was investigated by the Raleigh Police Department's Cyber Crimes Unit and members of the FBI's High-Tech Task Force.
Investigators say Dillard's security lesson could cost him even more. He could face federal hacking charges as well.
Dillard was released from jail Tuesday after posting $1,000 bond, which was reduced from $51,000.He is scheduled to return to court at the end of the month.