Former PLA Soldier Sentenced After Damaging US Army PC

Former PLA Soldier Sentenced After Damaging US Army PC

A 62-year-old former PLA soldier has been sentenced to six months of home confinement after lying on his security clearance form and damaging a US army computer.

Westfield resident Wei Chen was sentenced by a district court in Springfield last week after pleading guilty in December. He was also handed down five years’ probation and an $8000 fine.

Chen became a US citizen in 2006 and four years later applied for a job at a defense contractor which required him to have ‘Secret-level’ security clearance, according to the Department of Justice.

To attain that clearance, all Chen seemingly had to do was answer “no” on a questionnaire asking him whether he had ever served in a foreign country’s military.

He was granted said clearance and sent to work as a system administrator at US army base Camp Buehring in Kuwait.

However, in June 2013, Chen apparently connected his USB to an army computer in an attempt to hide his security violation.

Specifically, he’s accused of copying a file containing emails and other documents from his Secret-level workstation to the thumb drive and then deleting network logs to hide his tracks.

The US government is likely to be particularly sensitive these days about the security clearance given to contractors, following the whistleblowing antics of Edward Snowden.

Snowden was also a systems administrator working for a defense contractor – this time at Booz Allen – when he left his role with the NSA in Hawaii with a treasure trove of incendiary documents detailing mass surveillance programs sanctioned by Washington.

In November last year two US contractors agreed to pay the US government over $12 million to settle a case in which they were accused of failing to properly screen employees working on a Defense Department contract.

NetCracker Technology and CSC were accused of offenses under the False Claims Act after a civil lawsuit was filed by a former NetCracker employee-turned whistleblower.

Source: Information Security Magazine