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DoD can’t handle inside threats

May 20th, 2009 by Agent Smith (2) Data Theft & Loss,In The Spotlight,security breach

The Department of Defense seems to have quite some trouble handling threats in his own backyard. One of their officials with top-secret security clearance, as it happens, has allegedly been leaking classified department data and documents to an official working for the Chinese government.

According to a Department of Justice announcement quoted by Dark Reading,  James Wilbur Fondren Jr., deputy director for the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) Washington Liaison Office, has been charged with espionage conspiracy for providing classified information to an agent of a foreign government. Fondren is believed to have sold information to a Taiwanese-American man. The information was subsequently sold to a Chinese government official, but apparently Fondren was unaware of this secon sale.

How was the leak possible? Poor security: Fondren had both a classified DoD computer and an unclassified one on his desk. One would expect a little less trust in high level clearance staff. It’s espionage we’re talking about!

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Fondren, 62, allegedly funneled the data to Tai Shen Kuo, who was one of his consulting clients, between November 2004 to Feb. 11, 2008, according to the affidavit. Kuo purchased reports from Fondren for anywhere between $350 to $800, eight of which included classified information. Among the classified data Fondren supplied Kuo was information about a joint U.S.-China naval exercise, U.S.-China military meetings, and a DoD draft report on China.

In his turn, Kuo got around 50,000 US dollars for certain documents he obtained from Fondren and other DoD officials. I wonder who the other officials are. Will they be charged soon?

2 Responses to “DoD can’t handle inside threats”

  1. what we’re reading, week of 5/18 « VPN Haus Says:

    [...] Security… DoD can’t handle inside threats Poor security was most likely the cause of this event… James Wilbur Fondren Jr., deputy director [...]

  2. Mike M. Says:

    The US Govt has been failing in general lately. :-( We really need to step up our game.

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