Top Ten Breaches By Infamous Insiders

Friday, January 07, 2011

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The insider threat to information security is an ever present and ever growing problem for the private and public sectors.

Protecting against sensitive data loss events perpetrated by the very people entrusted with protecting the information is nearly a Sisyphean task, as awareness of a breach of trust is usually only evident after the fact.

Threatpost has assembled their picks for the top ten breaches by insiders, and the list includes some of the "biggest and most costly acts of espionage and data theft in modern times."

A summary of their picks is as follows:

  • PFC Bradley Manning (U.S. Army):  Manning is alleged to have downloaded  thousands of classified documents and provided them to whistleblower organization WikiLeaks. Manning has not yet been convicted...
  • Yonggang "Gary" Min (DuPont):  Min had accepted position with DuPont competitor Victrex, but did not give notice for months. During this time he secretly copied thousands of confidential documents said to be worth as much as $400 million dollars. It is not clear if the documents were passed on to Victrex...
  • Xiaodong Sheldon Meng (Quantum3D):  Meng,while working for defense contractor Quantum3D, engaged in espionage activities in the behalf of The People's Republic of China between 2002 and 2006. Meng was the first person convicted under the Economic Espionage Act of 1996...
  • Ross Klein (Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide):  Klein and another executive of Starwood took positions with rival Hilton and made off with some 100,000 documents that detailed a new line of "lifestyle" hotels the company was developing. They have not been charged with a crime, but have been banned from holding positions in the industry, and Hilton settled a lawsuit with Starwood out of court...
  • Jose Ignacio Lopez (GM):  Lopez and another executive left GM for Volkswagen, taking with them over two million pages of documents considered "top secret" by GM, including business plans, blue prints for production, and vehicle designs. Lopez has avoided prosecution and remains in Spain. Volkswagen settled with GM for $100 million dollars and committed to buying $1 billion in GM parts.
  • Robert Hanssen (FBI):  Hanssen was a career FBI agent who provided intelligence to the Soviets, including the names of operatives and double agents, in exchange for over $1 million in cash and diamonds between 1979 and 1999. At times he even headed the FBI unit responsible for tracking and arresting Soviet agents. He was sentenced to life in prison...
  • Xiang Dong ("Mike") Yu (Ford Motor): Yu made copies of some 4000confidential ford documents and provided them to Beijing Automotive Company, where he had accepted a position.The information is valued at $50 million dollars, and yu faces up to six years in prison and as much as $150,000 in fines if convicted...
  • Noshir Gowadia (Northrop Grumman): Gowadia is noted for designing the propulsion systems for the B-2 bomber, and selling the information to the People's Republic of China along with information that aided the Chinese in developing a stealth cruise missile, among other acts of espionage...
  • Fei Ye and Ming Zhong (Transmeta, Sun Microsoystems, NEC and Trident Microsystems): Ye and Zhong used a front company called Supervision to steal information on super integrated circuit chips from several U.S. companies, and are alleged to have made attempts to transport the information to China. they were convicted and sentenced to one year in jail...
  • Dongfan "Greg" Chung (Boeing): Chung was convicted of attempting to pass along secrets related to the  Space Shuttle, the C-17 military transport aircraft and Delta IV rocket to China. he had more than 300,000 sensitive documents stored on his home computer, which he claimed was research material for a book. He was sentenced to fifteen years in prison...

More details of these infamous insider breaches are available at Threatpost:

Source:  http://threatpost.com/en_us/slideshow/Infamous%20Insiders%3A%2010%20Eye%20Popping%20Heists%20By%20Insiders?page=0
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