HAMP Hacker Pleads Guilty to Misusing Fannie Mae Site
The Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) has announced that Sathish Kumar Chandhun Rajendran of Sterling, Va., has pled guilty to engaging in unauthorized access to government servers that hosted a Fannie Mae Web site used to support federal mortgage loan modification programs, including the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). The plea was entered before U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III, in federal court in Alexandria, Va. Rajendran pleaded guilty to a one-count criminal information charging him with unauthorized access to a protected computer causing damage. Rajendran faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison when he is sentenced on Oct. 3, 2014. In the plea agreement, Rajendran also agreed, for a period of three years following his conviction, to refrain from participating as an employee, contractor or subcontractor in any government contract requiring clearance. According to a statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, Rajendran worked at Fannie Mae as an Information Technology term employee and was assigned to the development of the www.CheckMyNPV.com site. The site was established under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act by the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Housing and Urban Development in conjunction with the government’s Making Home Affordable (MHA) Program. The online tool on the Web site, operated by Fannie Mae under the auspices of the MHA, allowed citizens to determine the net present value of their homes and check their eligibility to participate in HAMP, a federal program designed to prevent mass foreclosures. After being terminated from employment last August, Rajendran repeatedly used administrator credentials to log into government servers and make unauthorized changes to the CheckMyNPV site, including disabling the site’s online tool for checking HAMP eligibility. As a result of these actions, Rajendran caused damage and loss to the site in the amount of $30,000 to $70,000.