A man has pleaded guilty to carrying out a cyber-attack on his former employer in Great Baddow after he was dismissed.

Evan Strukoff, 32, of Fell Christy, Chelmsford, pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation and carrying out unauthorised acts to impair the operation of computers at Chelmsford Crown Court yesterday, Tuesday, April 23. He is due to be sentenced on Wednesday, May 15.

Strukoff had worked for Experience Engine Limited as head of IT for five years but was dismissed on October 16, 2017.

Nine days later, Strukoff carried out a cyber-attack on the company by gaining remote access to their computer systems illegally and deleting material.

He blocked access to other IT technicians while he changed the website domains before redirecting customers to graphic pornographic images when they accessed the company website for legitimate business.

Officers were notified while the attack was in progress, quickly managed to identify Strukoff's location and arrested him in the process of the attack.

A number of devices including computers and mobile phones used for the attack were seized which were forensically linked to the attack.

Detective Inspector Ian Collins, of Essex Police's Cybercrime Unit, said: "It is believed Strukoff carried out a cyber-attack in revenge for being dismissed from the company.

"He used his high level of access rights remotely to access the company's systems and managed to systematically cause damage to the company's data.

"Strukoff blocked access to other employees' accounts and even used the company credit card to purchase domains, which hosted pornographic pictures. We believe that they were seen by customers trying to access the website.

"His actions were intent in causing embarrassment to the company's owners, as well as causing disruption and loss to the company’s reputation."

“As a result of the attack Experience Engine suffered extensive disruption and financial loss over 24 hours.

"If we didn't find Strukoff when we did, then the company's loss would have been catastrophic.”