Friday, 15 December, 2017

NSA employee pleads guilty after stolen classified data landed in Russian hands

A computer workstation bears the National Security Agency logo inside its Fort Meade Maryland headquarters in a 2006 file Former NSA Employee Pleads Guilty to Taking Classified Information
Garry Little | 05 December, 2017, 02:00

Nghia Hoang Pho allegedly took home classified material from his job at the NSA.

Pho's home computer was using antivirus software made by the Russian software company Kaspersky Lab and Russian hackers are thought to have exploited it to steal the documents, the officials said. According to the US Department of Justice (DoJ), from 2010 to 2015, Pho "removed and retained" classified information, which he stored in his home in both hard copy and in digital form. The aggressive hacking of American targets by the Russian government, including the Democratic National Committee during last year's election campaign, is a high-priority concern for the United States, and forensic information from Mr. Pho's computer might provide useful clues.

A former US National Security Agency employee has admitted to taking home classified information that was reportedly later stolen by Russian spies.

Pho, who was born in Vietnam and is a naturalized USA citizen, is free pending his sentencing, which is set for April 6, Bonsib said.

"Beginning in 2010 and continuing through March 2015, Pho removed and retained USA government documents and writings that contained national defense information, including information classified as Top Secret and Sensitive Compartmented Information", the US Department of Justice said in disclosing Friday's guilty plea. The staffer had antivirus software from Kaspersky Lab on his home computer network, and the software scooped up the top secret information as part of its virus scanning process, the Journal reported.

He worked on "highly classified, specialized projects and had access to government computer systems, programs, and information, including classified information", according to the agreement.

Bonsib declined to answer questions about Kaspersky.

Pho is expected to be sentenced in April, where he may receive the maximum sentence of ten years in prison.

The Times reported that Pho is now free, while awaiting sentencing in April 2018.

The guilty plea was announced by Stephen Schenning, acting us attorney for the District of Maryland; Dana Boente, acting assistant attorney general for national security; and Gordon Johnson, special agent in charge of the FBI's Baltimore Field Office.

The NSA has wrestled with several similar cases in recent years.

Edward Snowden, a former Central Intelligence Agency employee and NSA contractor, leaked a trove of classified documents to the media in 2013, but has avoided prosecution after receiving asylum for Russian Federation.

Reality Leigh Winner, a Texas native who had been stationed in Maryland, was charged in June with sending a classified report to a news organization.

Recommended

  • Drastic weather change coming with January-like cold just over week away

    Drastic weather change coming with January-like cold just over week away

    Forecasters say there is a 70% probability of severe cold weather and icy conditions between 8am on Thursday and 8am Sunday. Monday night: 20 percent chance of patchy drizzle before 1 a.m., then a slight chance of light rain after 1 a.m.
    Bill O'Reilly Sued for Allegedly Defaming One of His Accusers

    Bill O'Reilly Sued for Allegedly Defaming One of His Accusers

    The Times reported in April that O'Reilly and Fox News paid out millions of dollars to five women to settle harassment claims. She argued that O'Reilly publicly disparaged her after she settled a harassment lawsuit with him in 2002. "This is false.
    Cyclone Ockhi: Rajnath speaks Tamil Nadu, Kerala CMs

    Cyclone Ockhi: Rajnath speaks Tamil Nadu, Kerala CMs

    A total of 20 fishermen from the state were rescued while the toll in Ockhi-related incidents was officially put at 25. Speaking to a television channel, a fisherman in Kanyakumari who came back to the shore said: "Only God saved my life".
  • Trump says he's encouraging Hatch to run for reelection

    Trump says he's encouraging Hatch to run for reelection

    This is considered the defining moment that the "Never Trump" movement was born. To a man who prioritizes loyalty above all, that fact would not go unnoticed.
    Veteran Bollywood Actor Shashi Kapoor Dies At Age 79

    Veteran Bollywood Actor Shashi Kapoor Dies At Age 79

    Another photo of Shashi Kapoor's grandnephew Ranbir Kapoor leaving the Kokilaben Hospital has surfaced. He was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 2011 and Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2015 (for the year 2014).
    Kids learn computer science at Hour of Code event

    Kids learn computer science at Hour of Code event

    Founded in 2013 by twin brothers Hadi and Ali Partovi, Code.org has found many backers in Silicon Valley. The governor engaged in " Hour of Code " activities with students and teachers during his visit.
  • Facebook's Newest App Is a Chat Service for Kids

    Facebook's Newest App Is a Chat Service for Kids

    The application is available for preview in the United States and will roll out to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch initially. And it only works if the parents of the kids who want to talk via Messenger Kids are friends on Facebook themselves.
    Top 5 wins during Jimbo Fisher era

    Top 5 wins during Jimbo Fisher era

    Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher recaps his team's final practice before its season finale against Louisiana Monroe on Saturday. A&M's Board of Regents approves the hiring of Jimbo Fisher.
    Tribute for missing North Carolina 3 year-old toddler found dead

    Tribute for missing North Carolina 3 year-old toddler found dead

    Daniel Bober, investigator Vincent Hill, syndicated radio talk host Dave Mack, and child advocate lawyer Ashley Willcott. It had been nearly a week since Mariah was last seen in bed by her mother around 11 p.m. on November 26.
  • 'We need Republican Roy Moore to win in Alabama'

    'We need Republican Roy Moore to win in Alabama'

    Ivanka Trump previously said: "I've yet to see a valid explanation and I have no reason to doubt the victims' accounts". The president plans to hold a campaign-style rally on Friday in Pensacola, Florida, near the Alabama border.
    Flu shot may bring only some protection this year: disease expert

    Flu shot may bring only some protection this year: disease expert

    The Coconino County Public Health Services District is encouraging everyone to get a flu shot to help protect against illness. He also suggests for older folks to ask for the higher dose of the flu shot, since your immune system isn't as strong.
    Future of Irish border remains an obstacle in Brexit talks

    Future of Irish border remains an obstacle in Brexit talks

    The Prime Minister is reliant on any support from the party as the DUP is propping up her government with its 10 MPs. But she said talks would reconvene later this week "and I am also confident we will conclude this positively".

Malta announces 10 arrests in journalist's bombing murder Malta announces 10 arrests in journalist's bombing murder The family has lamented in the past of being kept in dark by the police as to the progress of the investigation. As per Maltese law, police will now have 48 hours to interrogate the eight people before prosecuting them.

Mariners, Giants among finalists for Shohei Ohtani, Yankees, Red Sox out Mariners, Giants among finalists for Shohei Ohtani, Yankees, Red Sox out Passan reported Saturday that Seattle has asked players to clear their schedules to travel to Los Angeles and meet with Ohtani. Ohtani is limited to a minor league contract because of restrictions imposed by the MLB collective bargaining agreement.

Ex-Yemeni strongman Saleh killed by rebels Ex-Yemeni strongman Saleh killed by rebels At least 10,000 people have been killed in the civil war, which is viewed as a proxy struggle between Saudi Arabia and Iran. He told Yemenis all across the country that if they support him, "to defend the nation, the republic and the revolution".