There are con men and then there are con men who go down in history. Charles Harvey Eccleston will be going down in history.
The former Department of Energy worker was busted trying to sell secret Nuclear Regulatory Commission emails.
Eccleston could have been rich – hunted, of course, but $18,800 richer nonetheless – had he succeeded in selling the NRC emails to a foreign government, as he planned.
Unfortunately for Eccleston, though, he's a braggart of the highest order.
Eccleston had lived in the Philippines since 2011, where he tried selling the emails. However, his bragging of his “top secret” job on LinkedIn did him in.
According to his LinkedIn page, he worked at the NRC as a facilities security specialist between 2008 and 2010, where his clearance was “secret.” He had previously worked at the Department of Energy between 1988 and 2001 and had been cleared as “top secret.”
Eccleston, married to a local woman and in need of money to stay in the Philippines, walked into the embassy of a country and offered the email list.
But he couldn’t stop bragging long enough to seal the deal, much less keep it secret.
FBI set up undercover agents posing as representatives of the unnamed foreign country. He was offered money for the emails and he offered to design and send Energy Department employees “spear-phishing” emails that contained malware that could be used to extract the confidential information.
The undercover FBI agent provided him with a phony virus which he sent to almost 80 addresses and got busted.
He has been deported back to the U.S. to face the criminal charges.
“This former federal employee is charged with trying to launch a cyber attack to steal sensitive information from the Department of Energy,” said Vincent H. Cohen Jr., acting U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia.