Man gets home confinement for cyber attack on East Bay water treatment plant

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

DISCOVERY BAY – A 53-year-old Tracy man has been sentenced to six months of home confinement for a cyber attack on the Discovery Bay Water Treatment Facility in 2021, prosecutors said.

The sentence was handed down on May 8, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

A federal grand jury indicted Rambler Gallo last June, charging him with a single felony count of transmitting a program, information, code and command to cause damage to a protected computer, prosecutors said. Gallo pleaded guilty to the charge.

Gallo was a full-time employee for a Massachusetts-based company that contracted with Discovery Bay to operate the town’s water treatment plant, which serves 15,000 residents.

Prosecutors said Gallo installed software on his personal computer and the company’s internal network that gave him remote access to the plant’s computer system.

Roughly five weeks after he resigned on Nov. 25, 2020, Gallo accessed the plant’s computer system and sent a command to uninstall software that protected the water treatment system, including pressure, filtration and chemical levels, prosecutors said.

Other employees discovered the software was disabled a day after the cyber attack.

Gallo’s actions “were well thought out to be as disruptive as possible” and “caused a potential threat to the health and safety of the community’s water supply,” prosecutors said.

In addition to the period of home confinement, U.S. District Court Judge Haywood S. Gilliam Jr. ordered Gallo to serve three years of probation, forfeit his computer and pay $44,250 in restitution.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.