Ex-NSA techie pleads guilty to selling state secrets to Russia

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A erstwhile US National Security Agency techie has plead blameworthy to six counts of violating nan Espionage Act aft being caught handing classified accusation to FBI agents he thought were Russian spies. 

Jareh Sebastian Dalke will beryllium facing up to life successful situation erstwhile sentenced successful April 2024, though successful his plea agreement [PDF] nan authorities agreed to activity a condemnation nary greater than 262 months (just awkward of 22 years) "if nan authorities determines [Dalke] has cooperated afloat … and nan accusation [he] has provided has been truthful, complete, meticulous and of value." 

Dalke, 31, admitted that he transmitted excerpts from 3 classified documents, and sent 4 successful their entirety, to an FBI online covert worker (OCE), each of which contained nationalist defense accusation determined [PDF] to beryllium classified apical secret. 

A erstwhile US Army soldier, Dalke was employed astatine nan NSA arsenic an accusation information systems designer for little than a month, and resigned aft nan NSA denied his petition for extended time off to return attraction of a sick family member. Dalke's first communications pinch his "Russian contact" began weeks aft he resigned. 

Dalke told nan OCE posing arsenic a Russian charismatic that he had taken his NSA occupation because he had "questioned [the US's] domiciled successful harm to nan world successful nan past and by a substance of curiosity for secrets and a desire to origin change."

After his resignation from nan NSA, Dalke reapplied and was hired for a caller position he would person started astatine nan extremity of September 2022, which he told nan OCE would put him successful a position to exfiltrate further secrets.

As for Dalke's information to waste authorities secrets to Russians, nary request to speculate. He turned overgarment for nan aforesaid logic plentifulness of others person done for generations: Debt. 

According to Dalke's signed plea deal, he told nan OCE he was $237,000 successful debt, pinch $93k soon to beryllium due. Dalke requested $85k successful an unnamed cryptocurrency for each nan documents successful his possession, and promised much successful nan future. The OCE paid Dalke astir $16,499 successful cryptocurrency for nan excerpts, astir of which was quickly moved from his crypto wallet to a individual slope account.

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Along pinch assuming cryptocurrency is anonymous, Dalke made an simple correction successful nan committee of his crimes that led nan FBI correct to him. He didn't see that nan NSA mightiness person broad logs of personification activities connected their systems.

Dalke printed nan documents he sent to nan OCE while employed astatine nan NSA. A look astatine humanities information connected NSA systems made it easy to find that it was his relationship alone that printed those 4 peculiar documents, nan FBI said successful its affidavit.

Dalke besides reportedly sent immoderate of nan cryptocurrency paid to him by nan OCE to a wallet connected nan Kraken crypto speech registered successful his ain name.

Some information engineer.

Dalke's lawsuit is hardly nan only caller incident of cyber espionage affecting nan US government. In August, a US Air Force National Guard personnel was accused of posting classified accusation online for clout, which later ended up connected Russian-linked Telegram channels.

Days later a brace of US Navy sailors pleaded guilty to giving delicate subject accusation to Chinese spies, and past period a civilian US authorities worker moving arsenic an IT helpdesk tech was arrested for allegedly transmitting US nationalist defense accusation to Ethiopia. ®