Former US NSA employee pleads guilty to taking classified documents

03 December, 2017, 02:00 | Author: Diane Mills
  • Former NSA worker pleads guilty to snatching classified docs

Pho reportedly faces a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

Some of the classified files were transferred onto Pho's personal computer at some point and likely compromised by Russian hackers, The New York Times reported Friday, citing government officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Pho's sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 6, 2018.

The guilty plea said that between 2010 and March 2015, Pho removed and retained at his home paper and digital copies of USA government documents and writings containing national defense information.

Pho worked at the agency's Tailored Access Operations unit from 2006 to 2016, according to the agreement. That incident is believed to be among the reasons the Trump administration banned the use of Kaspersky software.

The man, Nghia Hoang Pho, 67, of Ellicott City, Maryland, pleaded guilty today, according to court documents released by the DOJ. The chief executive of Russia's Kaspersky Lab, Eugene Kaspersky, says he's ready to have his company's source code examined by US government officials to help dispel long-lingering suspicions about his company's ties to the Kremlin.

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Kaspersky has acknowledged that its software lifted hacking tools from a home computer in 2014, but said it was not part of an intentional effort to steal information from the NSA. He was later indicted in February 2017 for violating the Espionage Act by carrying out what USA government officials have called the largest theft of classified information in United States history. Most notably, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden disclosed a cache of classified material in 2013 exposing US government surveillance programs.

The court documents do not appear to make mention of Russian intelligence agencies or Kaspersky Lab. Former NSA contractor Harold Martin was indicted in February on charges related to hoarding secrets at his home near agency headquarters in Ft.

And Harold T. Martin III was arrested in 2016 after Federal Bureau of Investigation agents discovered some 50 terabytes of data and documents that Martin had taken from the NSA and other agencies over a period of 20 years.

A former employee of an elite government hacking group pleaded guilty to illegally taking classified documents.

The charges come on the heels of another government investigation in relation to a larger breach of NSA security, in which the NSA's hacking tools were released to the public a year ago by an unidentified group called the Shadow Brokers, Wired reported.

In June another NSA contractor, Reality Winner, 25, was charged with leaking classified material about Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election to a news outlet.

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