October 20, 2016
Almost two months ago, the FBI quietly arrested NSA contractor Harold Thomas Martin III for stealing an enormous number of top secret documents from the intelligence agency.
Now, according to a court document filed Thursday, the FBI seized at least 50 terabytes of data from 51-year-old Martin that he siphoned from government computers over two decades.
The stolen data that are at least 500 million pages of government records includes top-secret information about “national defense.” If all data stolen by Martin found indeed classified, it would be the largest NSA heist, far bigger than Edward Snowden leaks.
According to the new filing, Martin also took “six full bankers’ boxes” worth of documents, many of which were marked “Secret” and “Top Secret.” The stolen data also include the personal information of government employees. The stolen documents date from between 1996 through 2016.
“The document appears to have been printed by the Defendant from an official government account,” the court documents read. “On the back of the document are handwritten notes describing the NSA’s classified computer infrastructure and detailed descriptions of classified technical operations.”
It’s not clear exactly what Martin allegedly stole, but The New York Times reported Wednesday that the stolen documents also included the NSA’s top secret hacking tools posted online by a supposed hacking group, calling itself Shadow Brokers, earlier this year.
Earlier this summer, Shadow Brokers claimed to have infiltrated NSA servers and stolen enormous amounts of data, including working exploits and hacking tools.
The NY Times report suggests that the FBI has found forensic evidence that the hacking tools and cyber-weapons posted online by the alleged hacking group had actually been on a contractor’s machine.