Terabytes of secret counter-terrorist data was leaked out of Switzerland’s National Security Agency by a disgruntled top-level employee with unlimited access to the agencies networks.
Warning the CIA and the UKâ€™s MI6, the Swiss intelligence service believes the leaked data could have been compromised. Although the senior employee was apprehended and the terabytes of data recovered, the agency cannot confirm that it wasnâ€™t already distributed to other sources.
The data is believed to amount to â€œhundreds of thousands or even millions of printed pages, of classified material from the Swiss intelligence service’s serversâ€, which was carried out of the building via portable hard drives.
â€œSwiss Attorney General Michael Lauber and a senior prosecutor, Carolo Bulletti, announced in September that they were investigating the data theft and its alleged perpetrator,â€ according to Reuters news agency. â€œA spokeswoman for the attorney general said she was prohibited by law from disclosing the suspect’s identity.â€
The Swiss intelligence service was tipped off by Swiss bank UBS that a suspicious back account belonging to the tracked employee was about to be created. With the three intelligence agencies sharing data on counter-terrorism, the leak is considered a serious security breach.
â€œA European source familiar with the case said it raised serious questions about security procedures and structures at the NDB, a relatively new agency which combined the functions of predecessor agencies that separately conducted foreign and domestic intelligence activities for the Swiss government,â€ said Reuters.
A Parliamentary committee is investigating the incident and aims to report its findings in spring.