Nghia Hoang Pho, a 68-year-old former National Security Agency employee who worked in the NSA's Tailored Access Operations (TAO) division, was sentenced today to 66 months in prison for willful, unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents and material from his workplace—material that included hacking tools that were likely part of the code dumped by the individual or group known as Shadowbrokers [arstechnica.com] in the summer of 2016.
Pho, a naturalized US citizen from Vietnam and a resident of Ellicott City, Maryland, had pleaded guilty to bringing home materials after being caught in a sweep by the NSA following the Shadowbrokers leaks. He will face three years of supervised release after serving his sentence. His attorney had requested home detention.
In a letter sent to the court in March, former NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers told Judge George Russell that the materials removed from the NSA by Pho "had significant negative impacts on the NSA mission, the NSA workforce, and the Intelligence Community as a whole." The materials Pho removed, Rogers wrote, included:
[S]ome of NSA's most sophisticated, hard-to-achieve, and important techniques of collecting [signals intelligence] from sophisticated targets of the NSA, including collection that is crucial to decision makers when answering some of the Nation's highest-priority questions... Techniques of the kind Mr. Pho was entrusted to protect, yet removed from secure space, are force multipliers, allowing for intelligence collection in a multitude of environments around the globe and spanning a wide range of security topics. Compromise of one technique can place many opportunities for intelligence collection and national security insight at risk.
Previously: Former NSA Employee Nghia Pho Pleads Guilty to Willful Retention of National Defense Information [soylentnews.org]
Related: "The Shadow Brokers" Claim to Have Hacked NSA [soylentnews.org]
The Shadow Brokers Identify Hundreds of Targets Allegedly Hacked by the NSA [soylentnews.org]
Former NSA Contractor May Have Stolen 75% of TAO's Elite Hacking Tools [soylentnews.org]
Former NSA Contractor Harold Martin Indicted [soylentnews.org]