Image of Trade Secrets via iStockPhoto
According to an article in CSO magazine, U.S. Navy engineer Jonathan Toebbe, who goes to trial in December on charges of stealing nuclear submarine secrets, defeated the Navy’s insider threat detection systems by taking insider threat training. According to the complaint filed in federal court, Toebbe reached out to an undisclosed foreign power and offered to provide nuclear secrets. In exchange for cryptocurrency payments, he subsequently delivered via dead drop documents that contained militarily sensitive design elements, operating parameters, and performance characteristics of Virginia-class submarine reactors. Charging documents suggest Toebbe was attempting to sell additional secrets for $5 million.
- Toebbe’s wife, Diana, was charged as a co-conspirator for serving as a lookout during dead drops.
- According to CSO, Toebbe wrote how he had been, “taking information from the Navy in such a way that he would not raise the suspicion of his colleagues.”
- Toebbe said he used insider threat training to learn about insider threat warning signs, and he was careful not to exhibit any of those signs.
- For example, Toebbe gathered files slowly over time and in the routine course of performing his job.
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Sources & Additional Information
This is a feature story from the November issue of our Insider Signal Plus Newsletter in which iThreat and Michael Gips share our insights on important stories about insider threat incidents and how organizations can prevent, reduce, and respond to similar insider threat incidents. Would you like to make sure you are aware of insider and other threats facing your organization? Need to figure out who is behind the aliases, groups, websites, and communities targeting your executives, key staff, intellectual property, sensitive information, facilities, business reputation, brands, and business continuity? SignalAlert Monitoring and Investigations Programs help our clients address these problems and more.