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posted by Fnord666 on Friday July 19 2019, @09:35PM   Printer-friendly
from the if-you-can't-do-the-time dept.

Ex-NSA Contractor Who Stole Top Secret Documents Is Sentenced To 9 Years In Prison

A former National Security Agency contractor who pleaded guilty to stealing vast troves of classified material over the course of two decades has been sentenced to nine years in prison.

Harold Martin III, 54, apologized before U.S. District Judge Richard Bennett handed down the sentence on Friday.

"My methods were wrong, illegal and highly questionable," Martin told the court in Baltimore, according to The Associated Press.

Earlier this year, he pleaded guilty to "willful retention of national defense information," a crime that carries a punishment of anywhere from no jail time to a maximum prison sentence of 10 years. His plea agreement called for a sentence of nine years in prison.

Previously: NSA Contractor Harold Martin III Arrested
NSA Contractor Accused of "Stealing" Terabytes of Information, Charged Under Espionage Act
The Shadow Brokers Identify Hundreds of Targets Allegedly Hacked by the NSA
Former NSA Contractor May Have Stolen 75% of TAO's Elite Hacking Tools
Former NSA Contractor Harold Martin Indicted


Original Submission

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NSA Contractor Harold Martin III Arrested 68 comments

A federal contractor was arrested in August for unlawful retention of classified documents:

A federal contractor suspected of leaking powerful National Security Agency hacking tools has been arrested and charged with stealing classified information from the U.S. government, according to court records and a law enforcement official familiar with the case. Harold Thomas Martin III, 51, who worked for Booz Allen Hamilton, was charged with theft of government property and unauthorized removal and retention of classified materials, authorities said. He was arrested in August after investigators searched his home in Glen Burnie, Md., and found documents and digital information stored on various devices that contained highly classified information, authorities said. The breadth of the damage Martin is alleged to have caused was not immediately clear, though officials alleged some of the documents he took home "could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security of the United States." Investigators are probing whether Martin was responsible for an apparent leak that led to a cache of NSA hacking tools appearing online in August, according to an official familiar with the case.

From the US DoJ release:

A criminal complaint has been filed charging Harold Thomas Martin III, age 51, of Glen Burnie, Maryland, with theft of government property and unauthorized removal and retention of classified materials by a government employee or contractor. According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Martin was a contractor with the federal government and had a top secret national security clearance. Martin was arrested late on August 27, 2016. The complaint was filed on August 29, 2016, and unsealed today.

Also at The New York Times , NBC, PBS, the Baltimore Sun .


Original Submission

NSA Contractor Accused of "Stealing" Terabytes of Information, Charged Under Espionage Act 33 comments

Federal prosecutors have charged former NSA contractor Harold T. Martin III under the Espionage Act:

Harold T. Martin III is expected to appear at a federal courthouse in Baltimore on Friday for a hearing to consider whether he should remain in U.S. custody, as prosecutors announced in a court filing that they plan to file Espionage Act charges against him.

The FBI is investigating whether Martin may have transferred six bankers boxes' worth of paper documents and 50,000 gigabytes of electronic materials to anyone else, according to documents filed Thursday. So far, investigators said they have not found any connection to a foreign power. Martin's public defenders, James Wyda and Deborah Boardman, have said that he presents no flight risk and that "there's no evidence he intended to betray his country."

Martin, a former Navy reservist, has been in federal custody since late August. That's when FBI agents executed search warrants at his suburban Maryland home, uncovering what they describe as "overwhelming" proof he mishandled classified information. Among the materials they found: the personal information of government employees and a top-secret document "regarding specific operational plans against a known enemy of the United States and its allies," according to the court filing.

The trove of information reportedly includes hacking tools that were recently offered for sale by a group that calls itself The Shadow Brokers.

12-page court filing: United States of America v. Harold T. Martin, III

Previously:
NSA Contractor Harold Martin III Arrested
Probe of Leaked U.S. NSA Hacking Tools Examines Operative's ‘Mistake’


Original Submission

The Shadow Brokers Identify Hundreds of Targets Allegedly Hacked by the NSA 5 comments

The Shadow Brokers are back, and they have a treat for you:

"TheShadowBrokers is having special trick or treat for Amerikanskis tonight," said the Monday morning post, which was signed by the same encryption key used in the August posts. "Many missions into your networks is/was coming from these ip addresses." Monday's leak came as former NSA contractor Harold Thomas Martin III remains in federal custody on charges that he hoarded an astounding 50 terabytes of data in his suburban Maryland home. Much of the data included highly classified information such as the names of US intelligence officers and highly sensitive methods behind intelligence operations. Martin came to the attention of investigators looking into the Shadow Brokers' August leak. Anonymous people with knowledge of the investigation say they don't know what connection, if any, Martin has to the group or the leaks.

[...] According to analyses from researchers here and here, Monday's dump contains 352 distinct IP addresses and 306 domain names that purportedly have been hacked by the NSA. The timestamps included in the leak indicate that the servers were targeted between August 22, 2000 and August 18, 2010. The addresses include 32 .edu domains and nine .gov domains. In all, the targets were located in 49 countries, with the top 10 being China, Japan, Korea, Spain, Germany, India, Taiwan, Mexico, Italy, and Russia. Vitali Kremez, a senior intelligence analyst at security firm Flashpoint, also provides useful analysis here. [...] Other purported NSA tools discussed in Monday's dump have names including DEWDROP, INCISION, JACKLADDER, ORANGUTAN, PATCHICILLIN, RETICULUM, SIDETRACK, AND STOCSURGEON. Little is immediately known about the tools, but the specter that they may be implants or exploits belonging to the NSA is understandably generating intrigue in both security and intelligence circles.

Previously:

"The Shadow Brokers" Claim to Have Hacked NSA
NSA 'Shadow Brokers' Hack Shows SpyWar With Kremlin is Turning Hot
Cisco Begins Patching an NSA Exploit Released by the Shadow Brokers
Probe of Leaked U.S. NSA Hacking Tools Examines Operative's 'Mistake'
NSA Contractor Harold Martin III Arrested
NSA Contractor Accused of "Stealing" Terabytes of Information, Charged Under Espionage Act


Original Submission

Former NSA Contractor May Have Stolen 75% of TAO's Elite Hacking Tools 35 comments

On Monday, The Washington Post reported one of the most stunning breaches of security ever. A former NSA contractor, the paper said, stole more than 50 terabytes of highly sensitive data. According to one source, that includes more than 75 percent of the hacking tools belonging to the Tailored Access Operations. TAO is an elite hacking unit that develops and deploys some of the world's most sophisticated software exploits.

Attorneys representing Harold T. Martin III have previously portrayed the former NSA contractor as a patriot who took NSA materials home so that he could become better at his job. Meanwhile, investigators who have combed through his home in Glen Burnie, Maryland, remain concerned that he passed the weaponized hacking tools to enemies. The theft came to light during the investigation of a series of NSA-developed exploits that were mysteriously published online by a group calling itself Shadow Brokers.

[...] An unnamed US official told the paper that Martin allegedly hoarded more than 75 percent of the TAO's library of hacking tools. It's hard to envision a scenario under which a theft of that much classified material by a single individual would be possible.

Source:

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/02/former-nsa-contractor-may-have-stolen-75-of-taos-elite-hacking-tools/


Original Submission

Former NSA Contractor Harold Martin Indicted 24 comments

Days after the Washington Post reported on the hoarding of Tailored Access Operations tools by Harold T. Martin III, a federal grand jury has indicted the former NSA contractor:

A federal grand jury has indicted a former National Security Agency contractor on 20 counts of willful retention of national defense information.

According to prosecutors, Harold "Hal" Martin took a slew of highly classified documents out of secure facilities and kept them at his home and in his car. Earlier this week, the Washington Post reported that among those materials, Martin is alleged to have taken 75 percent of the hacking tools that were part of the Tailored Access Operations, an elite hacking unit within NSA.

The indictment outlines 20 specific documents that he is accused of having taken, including "a March 2014 NSA leadership briefing outlining the development and future plans for a specific NSA organization."

Previously: NSA Contractor Harold Martin III Arrested
NSA Contractor Accused of "Stealing" Terabytes of Information, Charged Under Espionage Act
The Shadow Brokers Identify Hundreds of Targets Allegedly Hacked by the NSA


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Friday July 19 2019, @09:46PM (9 children)

    by MostCynical (2589) on Friday July 19 2019, @09:46PM (#869175) Journal

    His plea agreement called for a sentence of nine years in prison.

    ...maximum prison sentence of 10 years

    Not the best deal, really.

    --
    "I guess once you start doubting, there's no end to it." -Batou, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 19 2019, @09:54PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 19 2019, @09:54PM (#869179)

      Considering he didn't disappear off the face of the Earth, I'd say he was lucky.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 19 2019, @09:54PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 19 2019, @09:54PM (#869180)

      It depends upon what he would have been charged with if he didn't take that deal. If he had been removing material for the better part of two decades, I'm thinking he got a great deal out of this because he deserves much worse.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 19 2019, @11:56PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 19 2019, @11:56PM (#869221)

        Deserves more?

        The guy took a deal that will probably let him still touch his children again before he dies.

        Obviously sentencing is not proportional to acts committed. Sentencing, even prosecution, depends on your class. Really big fish like Hillary are immune. High level government employees like Petraeus get prosecuted, but their sentences fall on the scale of months.

        Some low level peon contractor listening to your phone calls in Kansas City though gets hit full force: decade if he cooperates, life if he doesn't.

      • (Score: 2) by legont on Friday July 19 2019, @11:59PM

        by legont (4179) on Friday July 19 2019, @11:59PM (#869223)

        He might be charged with more serious crimes later so the deal is really not good at all.

        --
        "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday July 19 2019, @10:04PM

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Friday July 19 2019, @10:04PM (#869184) Journal

      What leverage did he have? They probably had mountains of evidence to bury him in.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 19 2019, @11:34PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 19 2019, @11:34PM (#869208)

      Specially not when Hillary and Petraeus walk free.

      • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 20 2019, @02:54AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 20 2019, @02:54AM (#869264)

        You forgot Trump and his kids.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 20 2019, @04:23AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 20 2019, @04:23AM (#869281)

          That may make you feel better saying that, but Trump as president can personally declassify anything. He has that power because we the people by the millions voted to take a risk with him.

          Hillary, Petraeus and this sap did not face that kind of scrutiny.

    • (Score: 2) by epitaxial on Saturday July 20 2019, @01:38AM

      by epitaxial (3165) on Saturday July 20 2019, @01:38AM (#869242)

      Uncle Sam doesn't like to get crossed. People fucking with the government never get off easy.

  • (Score: 3, Troll) by Snotnose on Friday July 19 2019, @11:06PM

    by Snotnose (1623) on Friday July 19 2019, @11:06PM (#869198)

    For most of my working life I saved useful docs so I could work at home. Granted, I did not do this to documents classified secret. Nor did I spend more than a year or so working with classified stuff, the risk/reward just wasn't there (anyone else in the 80s get the video of hot Russian chicks picking up socially incompetent nerds in a bar? We laughed our asses off over that one).

    If this guy wasn't looking to sell the stuff he used to work better, then why? This all goes back to HRC and her damned email server in the bathroom. Too lazy to look into exactly what this guy did, and I don't really want to bring up the "lock her up" crap again, but, dafuq?

    --
    The Word Of the Day (WOD) is finicky. As in, "sharks avoid the sewage discharge pipe because they make their finicky".
  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 20 2019, @04:43AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 20 2019, @04:43AM (#869285)

    He should've stored it on a locally administered e-mail server instead.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 20 2019, @06:01AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 20 2019, @06:01AM (#869297)

      What he did was safer: he didn't put his stash online.
      No, his fatal flaw is that he isn't the wife of a former president, bringing tons of global cash to the democrat party.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 20 2019, @09:35AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 20 2019, @09:35AM (#869335)

    hmmm ... how can you steal something that inheriently has no original and can fundamentally only exist as a copy?
    anything electronic and binary has no original ... it's the way a computer works; it makes copies.
    my grip is thus with the word "stole". it implies that something went missing. which, if digital, is only possible when deleted which is still not categoriced as "stolen" but would rather be "destroyed".
    one could argue that something was "copied" but that can never give you a jail sentence ever, unless (lots and lots of) monerary damage was involved. however one then could argue why the non-existant digital original was digitized and made to be universally copiable in the first place which would place the blame on whoever digitized the ... data.
    also, the "data" not-stolen but copied, might be completly irrelevant even if not released to general public thus still "top secret" in less then 9 years (very likely).
    so this is a good "scare theather" methinks ...

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