A couple of months ago, the FBI announced the arrest of an NSA contractor, Harold Thomas Martin III, over a massive secret data theft.
Now, according to a new court document filed this week, the FBI seized at least 50 terabytes of data from the suspect that has stolen from government systems since 1996.According to the prosecutors, Harold Thomas Martin II has stolen an ‘astonishing quantity’ of documents, a huge trove of data containing at least 500 million pages of government records, including top-secret information about “national defense.”
According to the prosecutors, Harold Thomas Martin II has stolen an ‘astonishing quantity’ of documents, a huge trove of data containing at least 500 million pages of government records, including top-secret information about “national defense.”
“The defendant violated that trust by engaging in wholesale theft of classified government documents and property — a course of felonious conduct that is breathtaking in its longevity and scale,” prosecutors said.“The defendant was in possession of an astonishing quantity of marked classified documents which he was not entitled to possess, including many marked,” “The government anticipates that the charges will include violations of the Espionage Act, an offense that carries significantly higher statutory penalties and advisory guideline ranges than the charges listed in the complaint,” prosecutors added.
This volume of classified information stolen by the man could be far larger than Edward Snowden cyber heist. The investigators have discovered “six full bankers’ boxes” worth of documents, many of which were classified as “Secret” and “Top Secret.”
“The document appears to have been printed by the Defendant from an official government account,” read the court documents. “On the back of the document are handwritten notes describing the NSA’s classified computer infrastructure and detailed descriptions of classified technical operations.”
The New York Times reported that the stolen documents also included the NSA’s top secret hacking tools that were leaked online by the Shadow Brokers group who claimed the responsibility for the Equation Group hack.
According to the NY Times, the FBI has found forensic evidence that the hacking tools leaked online by the group had actually been on Martin’s computer.
Why did the US contractor steal the document?
It is still a mystery, people who know him describe him as a patriotic, a circumstance that suggests he would never have given classified information to another country. He never had a specific interest in politics, the FBI doesn’t exclude he might have sold the precious information for money.
“His annual salary in recent years has exceeded $100,000 and he owns his house without a mortgage. But he has long bought expensive suits and Rolex watches, according to an old acquaintance, and a person familiar with his finances says he has struggled with debt. Court records show one past lien, an $8,997 state tax bill imposed in 2000 and not paid off until 2014.” reported the NYT.
Martin is due to appear before US Magistrate Judge Beth P. Gesner for his detention hearing on Today in Baltimore.
(Security Affairs – US contractor , FBI)