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San Diego County Digest

San Diego

January 22, 1992

A former computer programmer at General Dynamics was fined $5,000 Tuesday and ordered to perform 200 hours of community service for attempting to damage a computer through the use of a "logic bomb" program.

Michael John Lauffenburger, 31, of North City West, was placed on three years probation by U.S. Dist. Judge Howard Turrentine.

Lauffenburger pleaded guilty Nov. 4 to a misdemeanor charge of attempted computer tampering. He had been charged with felony counts of attempted computer fraud and tampering, but those charges were dropped.

In a press conference June 25, U.S. Atty. William Braniff said Lauffenburger secretly placed a "logic bomb" program into the General Dynamics computers between March 20 and April 10, 1991.

Had the program not been discovered, it would have caused $100,000 in damage to the General Dynamics computer, Braniff said.

The motive was alleged to have been financial; Lauffenburger had been expected to offer his services to the firm to repair the damages at a substantial hourly rate.

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