NSA contractor arrested; charged with stealing top secret info


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The FBI secretly arrested a Booz Allen Hamilton contractor in August on suspicion of stealing hacking tools used by the National Security Agency to break into foreign governments’ computer networks, according to federal prosecutors.

Harold Thomas Martin III, age 51, of Glen Burnie, Md., has been charged with theft of government property and unauthorized removal and retention of classified materials by a government employee or contractor, the U.S. Justice Department said in a statement.

The New York Times first reported the arrest.

Authorities raided Martin’s house on Aug. 27, finding documents and digital information stored on various devices and removable digital media. According to the criminal complaint, much of the material recovered from his residence and vehicle bore markings indicating it was highly classified, including Top Secret and Sensitive Compartmented Information.

In addition, the Justice Department said,  investigators located property of the United States with an aggregate value in excess of $1,000, which Martin allegedly stole. If convicted, Martin faces a maximum sentence of 11 years in prison.

It’s unclear exactly what information Martin was found to possess, but the arrest came shortly after the disclosure of exploits supposedly stolen from an elite team of NSA-affiliated hackers. The Justice Department has made no mention of the leak, which was carried out by an anonymous group calling itself the Shadow Brokers.

According to the Times, Martin did not fit the profile of an insider threat, and has been cooperative with authorities after initially denying he had taken any classified material.

The arrest marks the second time a Booz Allen contractor has taken sensitive information from the NSA. Famed whistleblower Edward Snowden also worked for the company before leaking information to a cohort of journalists.

Booz Allen Hamilton confirmed in a statement that Martin worked for the contractor, and has been fired.