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TSA worker tried to sabotage terror database, feds say

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A former data analyst for the US Transportation Security Agency has been accused of trying to sabotage a terrorist screening database used to vet people with access to sensitive information and secure areas of the nation’s transportation network.

46-year-old Douglas James Duchak, who worked as a TSA contractor for five years, planted the malicious code in the server used to maintain the database in mid October, a week after he was told his employment would be terminated at the end of the month, according to documents filed in US District Court in Colorado.

The attack code was designed "intentionally to cause damage without authorization to a protected computer" used by the government in furtherance of national security, according to prosecutors.

Duchak's duties included updating TSA databases with new information from the government's Terrorist Screening Database and the United States Marshal's Service Warrant Information Network. On October 22, he targeted a server containing US Marshall information, and a day later he tried to sabotage a server used to manage the terrorist list, according to the indictment, which was filed on Tuesday.

He was charged with two counts of attempting to cause damage to a protected computer. If convicted, he faces a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and a $250,000 fine for each count.

According to Wired.com, Duchak pleaded not guilty, and an attorney representing the suspect told the news site the servers he's accused of attacking were beta systems used for testing statistical analyses. ®

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