Capital One hack suspect threatened to 'shoot up' a company

  • FBI agents arrested Paige Thompson, who is suspected of hacking Capital One and putting the personal data of 106 million customers at risk, in a dramatic raid on Monday.
  • Court documents filed Wednesday say Thompson, 33, threatened to "shoot up" an unnamed social media company in California, The Associated Press reported.
  • FBI agents also found in the house about 20 guns and bump stocks belonging to Thompson's 66-year-old housemate, a felon who is banned from owning firearms. He was also arrested.
  • Thompson's housemates and old friends have described her life as troubled and isolated after leaving Amazon in 2016.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The suspect behind the Capital One hack this month threatened to "shoot up" a social media company, prosecutors said in newly-released court documents.

The documents were files after the FBI arrested her housemate for illegally possessing 20 guns in their home.

Paige Thompson is accused of illegally accessing data controlled by Capital One, which suffered a data breach some time between March and July this year. The hack affected the personal and financial information of some 106 million customers in the US and Canada.

Accounts linked to Thompson, a 33-year-old former Amazon software engineer in Seattle, posted details of the hack on the coding-collaboration site GitHub, messaging platform Slack, and Twitter, the FBI said.

Read more:Capital One found out about its 106-million-customer data breach only because a member of the public emailed it a tip

capital one suspect paige thompson fbi raid surveillanceCourtesy video via AP

Thompson was arrested at her home in Beacon Hill, Seattle, on Monday in a dramatic FBI raid, which involved at least seven heavily-armed agents.

The investigation into Thompson's alleged hacking also led to the discovery that her housemate, Park Quan, was illegally keeping 20 guns in their shared home, the Department of Justice said Monday.

66-year-old Quan, has two federal convictions for firearms violations. Part of his punishment is that he is prohibited from possessing guns.

But FBI agents in their Monday raid found about 20 guns in his bedroom, the DOJ said. Documents said the weapons included what agents believe to be AR-15 and AK-47 assault rifles, accessories including bumpstocks and grips, ammunition, and gun powder. Bump stocks are illegal in Washington state.

capital one hack fbi raidCourtesy video via AP

In court documents files Wednesday regarding Quan's case, federal prosecutors also revealed more allegations about Thompson.

Prosecutors say she recently threatened to "shoot up" an unidentified social media company in California, The Associated Press reported, citing the documents.

The company reported the threat, and Seattle police made a report about it, the AP reported, citing the court filings. It's not clear where and when Thompson allegedly made the threat.

capital one hack suspect paige thompson seattle fbi raidTed S. Warren/AP

'Could have gotten us killed'

Thompson and Quan's other housemates described Monday's FBI raid of their house as "scary," and said Thompson tried to ignore the agents.

They told the Seattle Times that Thompson ducked into her bedroom upon seeing the agents, saying she didn't want to deal with it.

One of the housemates, a Navy veteran who declined to be named, told the Seattle Times: "It was scary. I had M4s in my face," referring to the weapons the agents were carrying.

One housemate, who gave her name as Ashley, also told the local King5 News that Thompson's initial refusal to work with the FBI "could have gotten us killed."

Watch footage of Monday's raid here:

 

A troubled, isolated life after Amazon

The housemates also described Thompson as a skilled hacker, and suggested that her life after leaving Amazon was isolated.

Thompson started working for Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2015 and left about a year later, The New York Times reported. She left after she started drinking at work to deal with harassment from a co-worker, The Seattle Times reported.

She has been unemployed since, and was living at the house rent-free, The Seattle Times added, citing her housemates.

Capital One hosted its data via AWS services at the time of the data breach. Amazon said earlier this week that the hacker "gained access through a misconfiguration of the web application and not the underlying cloud-based infrastructure," and that "this type of vulnerability is not specific to the cloud."

Business Insider has contacted AWS for comment on Thompson's employment there.

Read more:Amazon's cloud was at the heart of the big Capital One hack, even though it doesn't seem to be at fault

 

amazon seattleElaine Thompson/AP

Sarah Stensberg, a former friend of Thompson, also told The New York Times on Tuesday that the computer expert occasionally goes through "phases of intensity" where she can become confrontational.

"When she gets in these phases of intensity, she does really stupid things," Stensberg said. "She'll push everyone away. She'll write threatening emails. She'll post things online about the things she's doing."

Aife Dunne, an online friend, told The New York Times that Thompson had discussed the struggles of transitioning to a woman years before, and that she sometimes struggled to find support beyond her online communities.

"You wish there was someone in her life that she had someone to talk to," Dunne said.

Read more:A 33-year-old woman who used to work for Amazon is the suspect in the massive Capital One hack — meet Paige Thompson

An unnamed housemate told The Seattle Times: "Paige is very, very skilled. If she wanted to, she could hack foreign governments," adding that they had "never heard anything" about the hack until the charges.

They also said they knew Quan had guns in the house, but didn't know he was a felon and forbidden to possess firearms, The Seattle Times reported.

capital one paige thompson seattle homeTed S. Warren/AP

Quan is due to appear in court on Thursday, August 1. Thompson is in federal custody and is scheduled for a detention hearing on August 15.

The FBI has charged Thompson with one charge of computer fraud and abuse. If convicted, she could face a sentence of up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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