A 34-year-old man has been accused of remotely hacking into the Gucci network and shutting down servers after his employment was terminated.

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Sam Chihlung Yun worked at Gucci as a network engineer but after his employment was terminated he apparently remotely took over computers, shut down servers and deleted emails.

Prosecutors said that Yun created an account in the name of a fictional employee and used it to access the company's network after he was fired in May 2010. He is alleged to have caused more than $200,000 in diminished productivity, as well as remediation costs.

Manhattan district attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr, said: “Computer hacking is not a game. It is a serious threat to corporate security that can have a devastating effect on personal privacy, jobs and the ability of a business to function at all.”

Adam Bosnian, EVP of Americas and corporate development at Cyber-Ark, said: “This case emphasises all too clearly the damage that can ensue from a failure to effectively lock down and defend the corporate network. While it may seem inconceivable that a global organisation such as Gucci would place its brand and reputation in jeopardy by failing to put the right security parameters in place, it is a situation which happens all too frequently.

“The granting of privileged access is unavoidable, but organisations can take precautions and implement solutions which monitor access to the network, thereby tracking any irregular activity and putting a stop to any anomalies before they turn into a corporate disaster.

“Ultimately, data is the lifeblood of an organisation and any firm that chooses to turn a blind eye to users' access to this data is potentially severing the corporate artery.  Organisations that do not want to suffer a similar fate would do well to take clear actions now to prevent history repeating itself.”