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Feds Bust Akamai Insider

Court documents said officials from a foreign government contacted FBI after Akamai finance worker offered to trade secrets.




Strategic Security Survey: Global Threat, Local Pain
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The Federal Bureau of Investigation said a former employee of web content delivery company Akamai, Elliot Doxer of Brooline, Mass., was arrested and, on Wednesday, charged in federal court with "secretly providing confidential business information over an 18-month period to a person he believed to be an agent of a foreign government." If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.

According to the allegations, Doxer emailed a foreign county's Boston consulate offering to share information, stating that his goal "was to help our homeland and our war against our enemies." Allegedly, he also requested $3,000, on account of the risks he was taking. The foreign government, in turn, notified the United States government, which one year later launched an 18-month investigation.

According to published reports, documents submitted to the court alleged that Doxer emailed the foreign government that he worked in Akamai's finance department, but noted that "the limit of my information is invoicing and customer contact information" and that "all this may not be of any value to you but I would offer any help I can to help."

According to the complaint, "in September 2007, a U.S. federal agent posing undercover as an agent of the foreign country spoke to Doxer and established a 'dead drop' where the agent and Doxer could exchange written communications," and that Doxer visited it at least 62 times to deposit, check, or retrieve communications.

The complaint also alleged that Doxer "broadly described Akamai's physical and computer security systems and stated that he could travel to the foreign country and could support special and sensitive operations in his local area if needed."

Published reports said that documents submitted to the federal court alleged that Doxer shared details on Akamai contracts, 2,000 Akamai customers, and 1,300 Akamai employees, including their positions and work-related contact information. Reportedly, court documents also revealed that the country he approached was Israel.

But the attack appears to involve one lone insider. Underscoring that point, the FBI said that "the complaint does not allege that any representative of any foreign government sought or obtained sensitive information in this case, nor does the complaint charge any foreign government representative with wrongdoing."

Akamai said it was cooperating fully with the investigation.

For Further Reading

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Akamai, IBM Speed Web App Delivery

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