US government hacker jailed after losing secrets

By Alexander J Martin, technology reporter
A man who illegally took home hacking tools from his workplace at the National Security Agency, and then allegedly lost them to Russian intelligence, has been jailed for five years and six months.
Nghia Hoang Pho, 68, developed hacking tools at the NSA's elite Tailored Access Operations (TAO) unit, which works on penetrating target computer networks for the US intelligence community.
While employed by the NSA between 2010 and 2015, Pho took home what prosecutors described as "massive troves of highly classified national defence information" and stored those troves on his home computer network.Reports have alleged that while these tools were stored on his home computer, Pho installed Kaspersky Lab anti-virus software, which Russian intelligence then used to steal those tools for themselves.Although the company has vigorously denied claims its software was used by Russian intelligence to steal the data, the publicity damage has left Kaspersky Lab working to address customer fears in a global transparency initiative - including moving a significant portion of its operations from Russia to Switzerland.An internal investigation at the cyber security company into the incident prompted the company to suggest that an NSA employee had actually been hacked when he downloaded pirate software and disabled Kaspersky's anti-virus.
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