The 2016 arrest of a former National Security Agency contractor charged with a massive theft of classified data began with an unlikely source: a tip from a Russian cybersecurity firm that the U.S. government has called a threat to the country. Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab turned Harold T. Martin III in to the NSA after receiving strange Twitter messages in 2016 from an account linked to him, according to two people with knowledge of the investigation. They spoke with POLITICO on condition of anonymity because they’re not authorized to discuss the case. Story Continued Below The company’s role in exposing Martin is a remarkable twist in an increasingly bizarre case that is believed to be the largest breach of classified material in U.S. history. It indicates that the government’s own internal monitoring systems and investigators had little to do with catching Martin, who prosecutors say took home an estimated 50 terabytes of data from the NSA and other government offices over a two-decade period, including some of the NSA’s most sophisticated and sensitive hacking tools. The revelation also introduces an ironic turn in the negative narrative the U.S. government has woven about the Russian company in recent years. Under both the… Read full this story
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