- Digital Trends
The FBI secretly arrested a Booz Allen Hamilton contractor working for the NSA who may be linked to the high-profile leak of the agency’s hacking tools, The New York Times is reporting.
The contractor, Harold Thomas Martin III, 51, is suspected of taking the top-secret computer code the agency had been using to break into computer systems of foreign adversaries.
According to the Department of Justice, search warrants were executed on Martin’s residence in Glen Burnie, Maryland, on August 27. Investigators found numerous hard-copy and digital documents that were classified Top Secret/SCI, the complaint says.
Besides documents, investigators also say Martin stole US government property that was valued in excess of $1,000.
Martin faces a maximum of one year in prison on charges of theft of government property and unauthorized removal and retention of classified materials.
As part of an affidavit, FBI Special Agent Jeremy Bucalo said the contractor initially denied taking classified information home with him but later acknowledged doing so and said he knew he was not authorized to do so.
In early August, there was an unprecedented breach of the NSA’s hacking tools, which included numerous previously unknown “zero day” exploits the agency’s hackers could use to more easily break into targeted computers. The leaked files appeared online in a bizarre auction by a group calling itself “The Shadow Brokers,” though some suspected an insider was responsible.
This is huge. Did the FBI secretly arrest the person behind the reports NSA sat on huge flaws in US products? https://t.co/otgOwB5efm
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) October 5, 2016
The Times did not specifically link that leak with the arrest of the contractor, though the timing would make sense.
Should this insider be implicated in that leak, it would be another embarrassment for not only the agency – still reeling from the Edward Snowden leaks – but also Booz Allen Hamilton, which employed them both.
Booz Allen Hamilton declined to comment. Business Insider has also reached out to the FBI for comment.
This post has been updated.