Swiss Spy Agency Acknowledges Massive Data Theft
An IT technician apparently stole terabytes of classified data with the intention of selling it to foreign governments or commercial buyers.
According to Reuters' Mark Hosenball, European national security sources are saying that a "massive data theft" by a senior IT technician at the NDB, Switzerland's intelligence service, may have exposed confidential information shared by several foreign government on their counter-terrorism operations.
"Intelligence agencies in the United States and Britain are among those who were warned by Swiss authorities that their data could have been put in jeopardy, said one of the sources, who asked for anonymity when discussing sensitive information," Hosenball writes.
"The rogue administrator, whom a source described to Reuters as 'very talented,' had admin rights to most of the NBD's servers, including sensitive files contributed from other agencies such as Britain's MI6 and the CIA," writes The Register's Iain Thomson. "He'd worked at the NDB for eight years but was reportedly disgruntled at his job and felt management were ignoring his suggestions on systems management."
Reuters reports that the man downloaded terabytes of classified information onto portable hard drives.
"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," writes Betabeat's Steve Huff.
"According to Reuters' sources, Swiss officials believe that they arrested him and seized the information before he had a chance to sell it, though they can't be entirely sure," writes CNET News' Don Reisinger.
"A Swiss parliamentary committee is now conducting its own investigation into the data theft and is expected to report next spring," writes The Daily Mail's Becky Evans. "Investigators are known to be concerned that the NDB lacks investigative powers, such as to search premises or conduct wiretaps, which are widely used by counter-intelligence investigators in other countries."