Man Pleads Guilty to Hacking Concession Sales at San Jose Earthquakes’ Opening Day

A San Jose man has pleaded guilty in federal court to a computer hack that shut down concession sales at last year’s opening day at Earthquakes Stadium for the San Jose Earthquakes, a Major League Soccer team.

Salvatore A. La Rosa, 41, admitted to intentionally accessing the online concessions management account for Spectra Food Services and Hospitality without permission on Feb. 29, 2020. Authorities say La Rosa worked for the company for nearly five years until he was terminated on Jan. 6, 2020.

Officials said that during his unauthorized access, La Rosa intentionally deleted the concession menu and payment selections.

The hack prevented the use of all point-of-sale tablets used at concession stands and all credit card transactions at the March 7 opening-day match, causing long delays in service as concession workers had to hand-tabulated cash transactions.

The hack caused a loss of $268,000, according to a joint statement issued Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI.

La Rosa’s sentencing hearing is scheduled May 19 in San Jose. He faces up to 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $25,000, plus potential restitution.

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