NSA contractor arrested in possible data theft

2016-10-05 21:12
Harold Thomas Martin III's house. (Jose Luis Magana, AP)

Harold Thomas Martin III's house. (Jose Luis Magana, AP)

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Washington - The FBI has arrested a US National Security Agency contractor in an investigation into the possible theft of classified codes developed to hack foreign governments, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.

Citing unnamed law enforcement and intelligence officials, the Times said the information is believed to have been stolen by a contractor for Booz Allen Hamilton - the same firm notorious leaker Edward Snowden worked for.

Booz Allen Hamilton helps build and operate many of the NSA's most sensitive cyber operations, the Times reported.

The contractor was arrested "in recent weeks", the Times said, and is suspected of swiping the source code used by the NSA to hack adversaries' computer systems, such as those of Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.

Such access would enable the NSA to plant malware in rivals' systems and monitor - or even attack - their networks.

Booz Allen Hamilton and the NSA did not immediately respond to requests for comments.

The case first came to light in August, when mysterious hackers calling themselves the "Shadow Brokers" leaked online what appears to be classified NSA computer code.

Former NSA contractor Snowden has been living in Russia since shortly after leaking documents revealing the scope of the agency's monitoring of private data.

Read more on:    us  |  cyber security

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