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Programmer charged in Treasury-software theft at N.Y. Fed
NEW YORK (1/23/12)--A Chinese computer programmer working as a contract employee on part of a source code for the U.S. Treasury's software system at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has been charged with stealing the code.

Bo Zhang, 32, of Queens, N.Y., worked from May until August in an access controlled electronic environment at the central bank. He is charged with stealing the source code from the Treasury's Government-Wide Accounting and Reporting Program (GWA), which manages central accounting and reporting functions and processes associated with budget execution, accountability and asset management (Security Week and Bloomberg.com Jan. 19).

GWA provides federal agencies with a statement of their balances with the Treasury Department.  Although some credit unions use the bank to process items, it is not known whether any credit unions' account information would have been compromised through this type of theft.

Zhang is charged with accessing and coping the code onto a hard drive at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, then copying it to a bank-owned external hard drive, which he allegedly connected to his private office computer, his home computer and his laptop.  He allegedly used the code in training individuals in computer programming in his private business.

The case is different from an incident that occurred in November 2010, when a Malaysian computer expert was arrested for hacking into the Federal Reserve Bank in Cleveland and breaching the computer servers of a number of major financial institutions (finextra.com Nov. 19, 2010).  In that case, Lin Mun Poo, 32, was arrested with a laptop holding more than 400,000 stolen credit and debit card numbers, authorities said. He allegedly hacked into FedComp, a data processor for federal credit unions, said authorities.


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