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Programmer arrested over $10m software code theft

Stole from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York
Thu Jan 19 2012, 12:00

A COMPUTER PROGRAMMER has been arrested over the theft of $10m worth of proprietary software code from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Bo Zhang worked at the bank and took advantage of his position to commit the crime, according to prosecutors, and was arrested yesterday by the FBI and the Treasury Department.

"As today's case demonstrates, our cyber infrastructure is vulnerable not only to cybercriminals and hackers, but also alleged thieves like Bo Zhang who used his position as a contract employee to steal government intellectual property," said Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara.

"Fighting cyber crime is one of the top priorities of this office and we will aggressively pursue anyone who puts our computer security at risk."

A complaint against Zhang has been unsealed and according to that he pilfered the Government-Wide Accounting and Reporting Program code by copying it to a hard drive owned by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

He then copied it to his work computer, his home computer and a laptop, and used it in his computer programming training business.

"Zhang took advantage of the access that came with his trusted position to steal highly sensitive proprietary software," said FBI assistant director in charge Janice K Fedarcyk. "His intentions with regard to that software are immaterial. Stealing it and copying it threatened the security of vitally important source code."

Zhang faces a maximum term of 10 years in prison, a maximum three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. µ


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