A U.S. Federal Reserve contractor has been charged with copying the source code of software that keeps track of large exchanges of money between U.S. government agencies.
Bo Zhang, who lives in Queens, New York, worked for the Reserve Bank of New York as a computer programmer on behalf of an unnamed third-party contracting firm. He was arrested Wednesday and released on US$200,000 bail. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
"Zhang took advantage of the access that came with his trusted position to steal highly sensitive proprietary software," said Janice Fedarcyk, Federal Bureau of Investigation assistant director-in-charge, in a statement. Although Zhang is a Chinese national employed in the U.S. through a work visa, the FBI gave no indication that the alleged theft was espionage. "His intentions with regard to that software are immaterial. Stealing it and copying it threatened the security of vitally important source code," Fedarcyk said.