The IT staffer scandal is even worse than imagined from a security standpoint, and now we know why members of Congress who hired Imran Awan, including U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, have been afraid to speak out about the infiltrator whom they paid a massive salary.
The Daily Caller reports that Awan was funneling huge quantities of emails and official computer files from DeGette and 44 other Democrats to a secret server that he connected to the House Democratic Caucus and then tried to hide.
Fear among members that Awan could release embarrassing information if they cooperated with prosecutors could explain why the Democrats have refused to acknowledge the cybersecurity breach publicly or criticize the suspects.
It was this hijacking of information that congressional investigators uncovered, that prompted the House Sergeant-at-Arms to ban him from the network.
Awan was using a dropbox to download tons of files, and a senior House official with knowledge of the investigation said Awan could still have access to that information.
“For members to say their data was not compromised is simply inaccurate. They had access to all the data including all emails. Imran Awan is the walking example of an insider threat, a criminal actor who had access to everything,” the senior official said.
The senior official said the Awans’ enterprise-scale use of Dropbox was not the casual use of a popular consumer application, but the funneling of huge quantities of data offsite where it could not be taken back by House authorities.
Awan was arrested by police at an airport before he could return to his home country of Pakistan. He’s already been indicted on fraud charges related to a bank loan he obtained from the Congressional Credit Union.
His wife, who also worked for the Democrats, is back home in Pakistan. She has struck a deal with prosecutors to return to the U.S. and face charges.
No wonder DeGette has little to say about the security breach.