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Former Cumming Chamber of Commerce IT services provider arrested for cyber crime against group

POSTED: February 3, 2017 10:23 a.m.
For the Forsyth County News/

James "Jim" Kubicek.

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CUMMING – A former information technology services provider for the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce has been arrested for a reported cyber crime against the organization that resulted in all of its email, calendar, contacts and task management capabilities with Microsoft Outlook 365 to be deleted.

James "Jim" Darian Kubicek, 48, of Cumming, who provided information technology services to the Chamber through his company, Kubicek Information Technologies, for about a year, was charged Thursday with theft by extortion, computer theft and computer trespass, all felonies.

According to the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, he had posted a $13,555 bond from the Forsyth County Jail by early Friday morning.

James McCoy, president and CEO of the Chamber, said Kubicek stopped working for the organization “toward the end of last year.”

Cpl. Pete Sabella, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office, said Kubicek was reportedly angry that the Chamber decided to contract another company to provide IT services for 2017 and retaliated by taking data hostage to “prevent the Chamber from accessing its own data.”

After a warrant was taken out for his arrest, the sheriff’s office was notified Kubicek was attending a Forsyth County Schools college and career fair at Lanier Technical College as a vendor, Sabella said.

He was arrested at the fair out of sight from anyone at the event without resisting, Sabella said.

“All files were absolutely safe,” McCoy said. “There was never any exposure. We have safeguards above and beyond typical safeguards.”

Kubicek said personal information was never at risk of being exposed and that he believes he did nothing wrong.

“[The Chamber] was a client of ours, and they wanted to go with a cheaper service,” he said.

He said he pulled sponsorships from the organization after they reportedly tried to cancel a three-year contract after one year and “shut off the services they refused to pay for. I do that with any client that refuses to pay their bill.”

He said he has retained a civil attorney who served the Chamber a demand letter for $78,000, for which the Chamber has 30 days to respond or face a pending lawsuit.

The Chamber’s McCoy said he has not heard of a letter being received.

“I have absolutely no doubt that these trumped-up charges will be dismissed,” Kubicek said.

Kubicek said his first appearance is scheduled for March 10 at 9:30 a.m. and that he invites anyone to attend.

Kubicek Information Technologies, or KIT, was the presenting sponsor the Chamber’s business expo in 2015.

KIT was also named a Best of Forsyth winner in 2016 and 2017, which is an annual readers choice contest put on by the FCN.

The Chamber was without Microsoft Outlook 365 for 10 days after the deletion occurred.

“As a result of the quick action of the Chamber’s executive vice president, Jimmy Lane, and our new IT services provider, Dime IT, all of the files on our server were secured and there were no breaches of personal information, credit card numbers, etc.

“In fact, the server was taken offline immediately until we were certain it could be secured.”

He said Dime IT was able to save all their emails and calendar items that existed before Microsoft Office 365 was deleted.

The Chamber has already reviewed its IT procedures, McCoy said, including an analysis of protocols for cyber-crimes “both inside and outside of the organization.”

“One of the changes implemented is that we made improvements to ensure that if any changes to ownership of accounts with Microsoft Office 365 or any of our IT accounts or our domain are made in the future,” he said, “that we are notified and we will conduct regular audits of those accounts.”


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