Secrets Secrets Are No Fun

American and British Anti-Terror Efforts Possibly Compromised By ‘Massive’ Data Theft

This is what can happen when you don't listen to the IT guy.
Spycraft. (tr.robinson/flickr)

Spycraft. (tr.robinson/flickr)

An unnamed IT drone working for Switzerland’s NDB spy agency may have endangered counter-terrorism efforts around the world by stealing terabytes of classified data.

Swiss authorities warned the United States and the United Kingdom about the breach after the suspect was arrested last summer. The tech, described by one Reuters source as “very talented,” was behaving suspiciously and authorities say he was disgruntled after feeling his views about operating the agency’s network were ignored. Reuters reports the man then collected massive amounts of data on hard drives and simply carried them out of government facilities.

The tech, who is out of prison while authorities continue investigating the theft, allegedly sought to sell the information to other countries or anyone willing to buy. Reuters details why this is a huge and potentially serious theft:

One of the sources familiar with the investigation said that intelligence services like the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, also known as MI6, routinely shared data on counter-terrorism and other issues with the NDB. Swiss authorities informed U.S. and British agencies that such data could have been compromised, the source said.

Reuters and various Swiss media report the NDB tech sabotaged his efforts when he tried to open a bank account with UBS. Suspicious bank officials flagged the account and investigators tracked it back to the technician.

Swiss investigators think the tech was apprehended before he could sell his wares–but they aren’t sure. If he managed to release any of the data into the wilds of the Internet, we’re sure Wikileaks or Anonymous will gleefully let us know.

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