Ex-NSA Employee Pleads Guilty to Leaking Classified Data to Russia

Oct 24, 2023NewsroomCyber ​​Espionage / Data Security

NSA Classified Data

A former employee of the US National Security Agency (NSA) has pleaded guilty to charges accusing him of trying to send classified defense information to Russia.

Jareh Sebastian Dalke, 31, served as an Information Systems Security Designer for the NSA from June 6, 2022, to July 1, 2022, where he had a Top Secret clearance to access sensitive documents. The latest development comes more than a year after his arrest.

“Dalke admitted that between August and September 2022, to demonstrate his ‘legitimate access and willingness to share,’ he used an encrypted email account to send excerpts of three classified documents of an individual he believed to be a Russian agent,” the US Department of Justice (DoJ) SAYS in a press release on Monday.

In fact, the alleged agent is an online undercover employee working for the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Dalke also allegedly demanded $85,000 in exchange for sharing information in his possession, which he claimed was valuable to Russia, with the promise of sharing more documents in the future.

Cybersecurity

The transmission of the document, which took place at Union Station in downtown Denver, Colorado, via a laptop, included five files, four of which contained Top Secret National Defense Information (NDI).

Some of the quotes offered relate to the NSA’s plans to update an unspecified cryptographic program as well as threat assessments related to sensitive US defense capabilities and the capabilities of the Russian offensive.

The fifth file is a letter in which Dalke says, “My friends! I am very happy to finally give you this information. . . . I look forward to our friendship and shared benefit (sic). Please let me know if there are any desired documents to look for and I will try when I get back to my main office.”

Dalke was arrested by authorities on September 28, 2022, moments after the file was transferred.

Now that he has pleaded guilty, Dalke is awaiting sentencing on April 26, 2024, and could face a maximum sentence of up to life in prison.

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