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NJ Man Admits Planting Computer 'Bomb'

A computer administrator at one of the nation's largest prescription drug management companies admitted Wednesday he planted an electronic "bomb" in the company's computer system.

If the so-called "logic bomb" had gone off at Medco Health Solutions Inc., it would have wiped out critical patient information, authorities said.

Yung-Hsun Lin, 51, of Montville, pleaded guilty to one count of transmitting computer code with the intent of causing damage in excess of $5,000.

The crime carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares set sentencing for Jan. 8.

Authorities said Lin was angry at the possibility of losing his job at Medco's office in Fair Lawn after the company was spun off from Merck & Co. in 2003.

Lin was arrested last December and charged with two counts of computer fraud. The indictment alleged that in Oct. 2003, he created the bomb designed to delete virtually all data from 70 targeted servers by modifying existing computer code and adding new code.

It allegedly was set to detonate automatically on April 23, 2004 -- his birthday.

Due to a programming error, it didn't go off. Even after surviving a round of layoffs, Lin admitted he modified the bomb's code to have it detonate on his next birthday. The company found and disabled it before it could cause any damage.

Among the targeted databases was one that tracked patient-specific drug interaction conflicts, prosecutors said at the time of Lin's arrest. Before dispensing medication, pharmacists routinely examine the information contained in the database to determine whether conflicts exist between a patient's prescribed drugs.

In addition to the drug-interaction information, other data on the targeted servers included patients' clinical analyses, rebate applications, billing and managed-care processing.

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