Tuesday, February 20, 2007

But he didn't download Pete DuPont's campaign speeches

When someone switches from job A to job B, the person might sneak a few things out the door. Gary Min took this concept to the extreme.

The U.S. Attorney's office in Delaware last week revealed a massive insider data breach at DuPont in which a scientist stole $400 million worth of trade secrets from the chemical company and now faces up to 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, and restitution when sentenced in March.

Gary Min, who also goes by the name Yonggang Min, pleaded guilty to stealing from DuPont late last year....

Min didn't tell DuPont he was leaving until Dec. 12, two months after signing the employment contract with Victrex. From August to Dec. 12, he accessed an unusually high volume of abstracts and PDF documents off of DuPont's electronic data library, prosecutors said. The EDL server, located at DuPont's experimental station in Wilmington, Del., is one of DuPont's primary databases for storing confidential and proprietary information. Min downloaded about 22,000 abstracts and accessed about 16,706 documents--15 times the number of abstracts and reports accessed by the next-highest user during that period....

Min began working at Victrex as planned on Jan. 1, 2006; around Feb. 2, he uploaded about 180 DuPont documents--including some containing confidential, trade-secret information--to his Victrex-assigned laptop computer. The following day, DuPont officials told Victrex officials in London about Min's activities. Victrex seized Min's laptop on Feb. 8 and turned it over to the FBI.

When FBI and Commerce agents searched Min's home in Ohio the following week, they found several computers with DuPont documents marked "confidential." A software erasure program was in the process of erasing an external disk drive on one of the computers when the agents arrived, prosecutors said. They also found garbage bags filled with shredded DuPont technical documents, as well as remnants of DuPont documents burned in the fireplace.

Although InformationWeek notes that "Min's case isn't unique," I suspect that most of these people don't take quite as much stuff.


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