Former NSA employee, Nghia Hoang Pho aged 64, was sentenced to five and a half years in prison for taking US Defense Files home. Pho was sentenced on Tuesday after he plead guilty last December to willful retention of national defence information. His charges carried a maximum of ten years but due to his guilty plea, he was given six and a half.
Pho who was originally from Vietnam worked in the NSA’s Tailored Access Group, this team focused on tools that hack surveillance targets. He is believed to have taken home digital copies of US Government documents which contained national defence information.
It is believed Pho was found out by his Antivirus Software (Kaspersky Lab) which lifted the documents and information as part of its virus scanning operations. Kaspersky has admitted its software took information from a home computer in 2014 but said it wasn’t an intentional effort to steal information for the NSA.
Pho admitted in court he took the documents home so he could work on them in hopes to earn a promotion.