Have you heard about the NSA contractor who was arrested because he had stolen a secret code to hack Russia?
The FBI has secretly arrested a National Security Agency (NSA) contractor. He is suspected of stealing a secret code. The secret code was reportedly used to hack the computer systems of foreign governments including Russia and China. This raises fears of another embarrassing intelligence leak just three years after the Edward Snowden affair. If you haven’t heard about the Snowden affair, you can watch the new movie about it in theaters now.
A short synopsis of the “based on real events” movie states: Disillusioned with the intelligence community, top contractor Edward Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) leaves his job at the National Security Agency. He now knows that a virtual mountain of data is being assembled to track all forms of digital communication – not just from foreign governments and terrorist groups, but from ordinary Americans. When Snowden decides to leak this classified information, he becomes a traitor to some, a hero to others and a fugitive from the law.
Unnamed law enforcement and intelligence sources told the New York Times that, like Mr. Snowden, the contractor accused of stealing a secret code worked for consulting firm Booz Allen, which is behind many of the NSA’s most sensitive cyber operations. In 2013, Mr. Snowden leaked more than 1.5 million documents relating to the agency’s surveillance programs, including some that targeted US citizens.
The contractor in this case was named in a criminal complaint announced by the Justice Department. His name is Harold Thomas Martin III. The 51-year-old Mr. Martin lives in Glen Burnie, Maryland near the NSA’s Fort Meade headquarters. He has been in custody since August 2016 according to the Associated Press.
NSA Raids Mr. Martin’s Property
In a raid of his personal property that month, authorities searched Mr. Martin’s home, two storage sheds, and his car. They reported finding highly classified information there in the form of both physical documents and digital files. The news comes as Mr. Snowden, who is currently living in Russia, has been arguing for a pardon from the US.
The secret code allegedly stolen in this case could have been the source for a 2013 report by Der Spiegel about the agency’s top hacking unit. That breach was not attributed to Mr. Snowden. It might also be related to a recent dump of stolen data by a hacking group called the “Shadow Brokers” which included source code traced to the NSA and built to break into secure networks.
If the NSA is hackable, business owners should finally realize that their websites could also get hacked. Trust Guard can monitor their sites, helping to keep hackers away.
Special thanks to The Independent for its article about the NSA security breach.