Grand jury indicts former travel agent in hacking case
DENVER ” A grand jury indictment filed Wednesday claims a former Ski.com employee allegedly hacked into the booking agency’s server and deleted reservations, among other accusations.
James. M. DiBlasio, who worked as a sales representative for Aspen-based Ski.com from September 2004 to November 2006, was hit with 10 “introductory allegations” by a grand jury in the U.S. District Court in Denver.
DiBlasio, who was born in 1969 and currently resides in Indiana, faces two charges of “unlawful access to protected computer” and eight counts of “intentional damage to protected computer,” according to the indictment. A conviction carries fines ranging between $100,000 and $250,000, and prison sentences between one and three years.
According to the four-page indictment, DiBlasio used a computer in Indiana to hack Ski.com’s Denver server on Jan. 14 and Jan. 15.
During that time, he allegedly deleted airline reservations, altered contact information between Ski.com and the airlines with which it books reservations, and deleted electronic data that Ski.com used to review available reservations. Additionally, DiBlasio allegedly changed the profile Ski.com sent to airlines.
The indictment alleges that Ski.com suffered losses of more than $5,000 because of DiBlasio, who “intentionally caused damage without authorization to a protected computer.”
A phone message left at DiBlasio’s Indiana residence was not returned Thursday.
DiBlasio is scheduled to appear before Magistrate Judge Watanabe on Nov. 9 in U.S. District Court in Denver. The government does not plan to detain DiBlasio during the proceedings, according to court papers.
Ski.com, which is based at the Aspen Airport Business Center, launched in 1971 as Aspen Ski Tours, and used that name until 2000 when it bought the Ski.com domain name, according to its website. It has global presence, booking ski vacations at resorts in the U.S., South America, Canada and Europe.
Ski.com officials were for unavailable comment for this story, and a phone call to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Denver was not returned.
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The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals this week affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit against the city of Aspen that challenged its zoning laws concerning Mill Street Plaza, which is home to locally serving businesses.