February 9, 2017 by

Former NSA Contractor Indicted Over Theft of Govt Hacking Tools

A former contractor has been indicted for the alleged theft of government property that includes files and hacking tools from the NSA, CIA and Cyber Command (CYBERCOM), following his arrest in August 2016.

Harold T. Martin, a former contractor with Booz Allen Hamilton, a tech consulting firm, had reportedly stolen over 75% of hacking tools belonging to Tailored Access Operations, NSA’s primary offensive cyber unit, according to sources of the Washington Post.

While there was no reference to the claim in the indictment, a Justice Department statement has confirmed that Martin, a 52-year-old Maryland native, is charged with the willful retention of national defense information.

U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein stated:

The indictment alleges that for as long as two decades, Harold Martin flagrantly abused the trust placed in him by the government by stealing documents containing highly classified information.

Prosecutors allege that Martin, who worked on several classified programs at different U.S. government agencies abused his access to sensitive government materials. Classified documents were allegedly stolen and retained by Martin who worked between December 1993 and August 27, 2016 at seven different private companies while assigned as a contractor to several government agencies.

During a detention hearing in October, one U.S. attorney said Martin had taken “many thousands of pages” of classified material as well as a staggering 50 terabytes of digital data.

Today’s statement reveals Martin’s security clearances with ‘Top Secret’ and ‘Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI)’. Further, the charge alleges that Martin stole and retained documents that bore markings of “TOP SECRET/SCI”.

Following his arrest on August 29, Martin has been held in a detention facility for his actions that “could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security of the United States” according to prosecutors.

His attorneys have portrayed him as a “compulsive hoarder” who took the material home beyond his working hours to get better at his job, rather than any probable notion of becoming the next Snowden.

If convicted, Martin faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for each of the 20 counts of the charge relating to willful retention of national defense information. When stacked consecutively, these charges could lead to a sentence anywhere from 30 years to life in prison.

Image credit: Flickr.

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