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3/11/2010
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Former TSA Worker Charged With Hacking

The Department of Justice indictment alleges that a former TSA employee tampered with servers containing data from the Terrorist Screening Database.

The Department of Justice has charged a Colorado man and former Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employee with trying to inject malicious code into TSA databases.

A federal jury indicted Douglas James Duchak, 46, of Colorado Springs, Colo., late Tuesday on two counts of intentionally attempting to damage a protected computer, according to a DoJ press release.

Duchak was an employee at the TSA's Colorado Springs Operations Center (CSOC) from August 2004 through Oct. 23, 2009. He worked as a data analyst in charge of updating TSA computers with information received from the federal government's Terrorist Screening Database and the U.S. Marshal's Service Warrant Information Network.

On. 22, 2009, seven days after he was told his employment would be terminated on Oct. 30, Duchak injected unauthorized code into the CSOC server containing data from the U.S. Marshal's Service Warrant Information Network, the DoJ alleges. That action comprises the first count of the indictment.

The next day he allegedly tried to load malicious code onto a server that contained the Terrorist Screening Database, the action comprising the second count.

If convicted, Duchak faces up to 10 years in federal prison, and a fine of up to $500,000 -- $250,000 per count.

Duchak surrendered to U.S. Marshals Wednesday morning and appeared in court in the U.S. District Court in Denver that afternoon. He pleaded not guilty and was released on a $25,000 bond, according to the court.

The TSA has been tightening the belt on security lately after TSA screeners failed to catch a man who attempted to blow up a U.S. flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas day.

The TSA Office of Inspection, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of the Inspector General, and the FBI investigated the case, which is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patricia Davies.

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