Tri-Valley exec arrested for allegedly hacking competitor

Choicelunch CFO out on bail, due in court this week

Taking the term food fight to a whole new level, an executive at Danville-based Choicelunch, a company that prepares and serves meals to schools throughout the state, has been arrested on suspicion of hacking into a competitor’s website, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office.

Keith Wesley Cosbey, the chief financial officer at Choicelunch, was arrested in his Danville home on April 18 on charges of unauthorized computer access for illegally hacking one of his company’s regional competitors, San Carlos-based LunchMaster, according to sheriff's spokesperson Det. Rosemerry Blankswade.

Blankswade explained that investigators were able to identify 40-year-old Cosbey by tracking the source of the cyberattack back to Danville, and while she was hesitant to speculate on a motive, the detective did say that “I think if it's (their) competitor, it certainly begs the question if that was the motive.”

Cosbey is currently out on $125,000 bail and his next court appearance is set for May 22 in Redwood City. It was not immediately clear whether he is represented by a criminal defense attorney.

The story of Cosbey's arrest on hacking allegations generated headlines across the nation and world after outlets like VICE picked up the San Francisco Chronicle's original article on the Danville man's case last week.

“Choicelunch is aware of the allegations and is awaiting more information before we can make a substantive comment,” Deborah Zandian, Choicelunch director of customer support, told in a statement. “In its fifteen year history serving California schools, Choicelunch has always endeavored to provide excellent service to its school lunch customers and will continue to do so while we await resolution of this matter.”

The Danville Police Department was not involved in the case, however Blankswade stated that standard policy is to alert other agencies when conducting operations within their jurisdictions.

“Anytime we enter somebody else's city we always alert the city. especially for an operation when we are actually arresting somebody or using a search warrant we always let them know,” Blankswade said. “It’s a safety factor for everybody involved, especially if we have detectives in plain clothes.”

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Nominations due by Sept. 16

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