Espionage charges made against a former US department of defense employee show the need for tracking of insider action.

Rick Howard, director of intelligence at iDefense, claimed that the case shows the need to be aware of the methods employees use to cause problems for their employers.


James Wilbur Fondren Jr. has been charged in a Virginia federal court with conspiracy to communicate classified information and passing other sensitive documents to a spy for the Chinese government, who has been convicted of compromising another Pentagon employee. He could face up to five years in prison if convicted.


Howard said: “This case is an interesting one. iDefense is currently monitoring increasingly complex and sophisticated methods of attack, but this case reminds us of the need to be mindful of the simple ways for criminals to cause trouble. Organisations should continue to be mindful of threats from inside.”


Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told the Washington Post that the threat posed by insiders with access to sensitive information is real. “The department is reliant upon the trust and confidence it places on its employees. It is a sacred trust to protect information vital to the national security of the country,” said Whitman.