Under the Espionage Act, the offender could face punishment of up to life imprisonment or the death penalty

Former NSA employee tried to sell classified information for cryptocurrency

30.09.2022 - 14:45


2 min

What’s new? Former National Security Agency (NSA) information systems security specialist Jareh Sebastian Dalke tried to sell excerpts from three classified documents with cryptocurrency. The former NSA employee was accused of doing so by the Department of Justice (DOJ). According to the DOJ, Dalke received classified information regarding foreign threats against US systems as well as data on US cyber operations while working at the agency. He was going to sell the data for $85 000 in cryptocurrency.

US Department of Justice press release

What else is known about the charge? Dalke reportedly planned to sell classified data to a person he believed worked for a foreign government. However, the person concerned turned out to be an undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent. On September 28, Dalke was arrested while attempting to transfer classified information.

According to the case file, Dalke worked for the NSA from June 6 to July 1, 2022. However, he told an undercover FBI agent that he was still working for the US government and was on a temporary assignment at a field location. Dalke demanded a reward in the form of some type of cryptocurrency in exchange for the information he had, stating that he was in financial need.

To prove that he had access to classified information, Dahlke gave the FBI agent excerpts from three classified documents. One of which was classified at the Secret level, and the other two at the Top Secret level. In exchange for this data, the FBI agent provided the requested cryptocurrency to the address given to Dalke.

Dalke also promised the FBI agent that he would share additional information in the future. To that end, the defendant re-applied for a job at the NSA.

The former agency employee was charged with three violations of the Espionage Act. According to the document, it is a crime to transmit or attempt to transmit National Defense Information (NDI) to a representative of a foreign nation with the intent or reason to believe that the information could be used to the injury of the United States or for the benefit of a foreign nation. The Espionage Act carries a death penalty or imprisonment ranging from several years up to life imprisonment.

In July, the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation initiated a criminal case against the head of the Drug Control Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Mordovia for taking a bribe in bitcoins. The lieutenant colonel demanded 2 BTC from the suspect in exchange for information about operational and investigative activities.

In September, it became known that the US DOJ would create a team to combat cryptocurrency crimes. The national team of prosecutors will work to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and ransomware.

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