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13 Jul 2007

Boeing insider charged

A remarkable insider threat story involves allegations that an auditor at Boeing systematically trawled the network for sensitive data, copied it to a USB memory stick, took it off-site and disclosed it to newspaper reporters.

"A disgruntled Boeing employee was charged Tuesday with 16 counts of
computer trespass for allegedly stealing more than 320,000 company files
over the course of more than two years and leaking them to The Seattle
Times. Gerald Lee Eastman, who was a quality assurance inspector at Boeing at
the time of the thefts, is slated to be arraigned on July 17, according
to a spokesman for the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office. He
faces up to 57 months in prison if convicted on all counts ... Eastman used what prosecutors called his "unfettered access to Boeing systems" to download large amounts of data from information stores he had no legitimate reason for accessing, according to the criminal complaint."

The article claims that the man was aggrieved at Boeing:

"The complaint noted that Eastman told detectives he was disgruntled with
Boeing because he had brought several issues related to parts
inspections to the attention of both the company and the FAA. He said
none of his concerns had been addressed to his satisfaction. The report
contends he said he collected data to back up his claims that there were
problems with the inspection process."

If that's true, passing proprietary information to the news media seems a rather unconventional way for an auditor to 'blow the whistle'.

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