FBI traced document printouts ahead of arrest of ex-NSA man • The Register

A 30-year-old former National Security Agency (NSA) employee who was arrested for allegedly trying to sell classified information has been linked to the crime by FBI investigators, who claim they charged him with printing classified information Documents linked after communicating with someone who put them up for sale online.

The FBI claims it then tracked the money as it was moved from a cryptocurrency exchange to the NSA employee’s personal bank account.

According to a statement from the Department of Justice (DoJ), which announced his arrest on Sept. 28 in Denver.

However, according to an FBI affidavit, the suspect communicated with an undercover FBI agent using an encrypted foreign email service that, while legitimate, is also used by cybercriminals.

“Dalke told that person [the FBI agent] that he had taken with him, among other things, highly sensitive information about foreign attacks on US systems and information about US cyber operations,” the DoJ claimed in a government statement, but said he was on a temporary assignment at a field location.”

The person the FBI spoke to said they needed money — they told the undercover agent they owed $237,000 — and wanted to be paid in a certain type of cryptocurrency in exchange for the National Defense Information (NDI). , the statement said. The type of cryptocurrency was not specified in the statement or the accompanying FBI affidavit.

To prove his credibility, the person sent extracts from three classified documents and one full classified document relating to three unidentified US government agencies. Dalke was tied to the email account used to communicate with the FBI agent and send the documents after investigators examining historical user activity on NSA systems claimed they discovered his user account contained all four had printed secret documents.

“Dalke was the only NSA employee who printed all of these documents,” the affidavit reads.

After providing the documents, the FBI said it mailed the requested cryptocurrency to an address on Aug. 9. That’s when investigators began tracking the money.

On the same day, someone opened an account under Dalke’s real name with crypto exchange Kraken and reportedly deposited a similar amount of the same cryptocurrency into Dalke’s exchange account after receiving payment from the undercover agent.

The agency claims that Dalke — a Colorado Springs resident — converted the crypto into dollars and withdrew the dollars ($4,559.81) from the exchange on Aug. 9 and deposited the same amount of money into a bank account in Colorado three days later FBI affidavit.

On September 18, an individual contacted the undercover agent with a request that the agent allow them to digitally transmit more sensitive information in Denver. Up to this point, they had only told the agent that they were not currently in the Washington DC area – the NSA is headquartered in Fort Meade, Maryland, because Dalke had been assigned to an NSA facility in the greater Washington DC area – and said they were willing to travel to Denver to complete the transaction.

According to the Justice Department, the person asked for $85,000 in exchange for the new information, adding that more information would be available when they returned to the Washington DC area. According to the announcement, Dalke applied to the NSA again in August.

The person suggested that to obtain the second batch of sensitive information, the undercover cop used a secure connection set up by the FBI at a public location in Denver. They told the agent they would submit the data on September 28 or 29. Dalke then showed up at the Denver location on Sept. 28, according to the Feds, who arrested him.

He was accused of three violations of the Espionage Act.

It is unclear which foreign nation the person with whom the FBI was communicating intended to give the information, although the affidavit suggests it is Russia. The affidavit states that Dalke claims to be fluent in both Russian and Spanish, and that the person they corresponded with told the undercover agent that their heritage is “connected to your country, which is one of the reasons why.” I came to you unlike others. “

Additionally, the person asking for confirmation that the agent they were communicating with was a member of a foreign government said they received a response through a number of channels, including a transmission to the SVR Tor website.

The SVR is Russia’s foreign intelligence agency. Tor is open source software used to hide an Internet user’s location and usage by sending Internet traffic through a relay network.

The FBI says the person they communicated with has criticized the United States for its actions around the world, saying that “the country is not as great as it used to think.” It’s all about the corporations and their money, not the people or those who serve it, including the military.”

According to the affidavit, Dalke served in the army from 2015 to 2018, received a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity and information assurance from Western Governors University a year later, and appears to have a master’s degree from Norwich University, where he studied cyber policy and technical vulnerability analysis . The FBI said he also has a PhD from American Military University, studying cyber affairs and advanced persistent threats.

Dalke submitted his resignation to the NSA on June 28 of this year and was questioned on July 1. According to the FBI, he told the NSA in the exit interview that the reason he quit was because he couldn’t get the nine months he needed off work to cope with an illness in the family. ®

https://www.theregister.com/2022/10/03/nsa_worker_fbi_espionage/ FBI traced document printouts ahead of arrest of ex-NSA man • The Register

Rick Schindler

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