Pharma hacker gets jail sentence in NJ

Here's a story that might give members of pharmaceutical company IT groups the jitters. After pleading guilty to crimes stemming from hacking into his former employer Shionogi's computer system, Jason Cornish was sentenced to serve nearly three and a half years in prison and pay more than $800,000 in restitution, Pharmalot's Ed Silverman reported.

As Silverman has previously reported, Cornish hacked into the Japanese drugmaker's computer system, wreaking havoc on its communication systems and order system for days. The hacking episode cost the company, which keeps its U.S. beachhead in New Jersey, $300,000. Cornish will be on supervised release for years after he's released from prison, according to the Pharmalot article, and it's safe to say that he won't be tending to any drug companies' computer systems for a long time.

There are some hard lessons to glean from this case. Drugmakers rely heavily on IT for key business and research operations, and any interruption in computer systems can stymie progress in bringing medicines to patients. Silverman notes that the case highlights the trouble that can stem from poor password and disaster recovery management.

- get more in Silverman's article