Former TSA Employee Indicted for Database Attack

Federal authorities have charged a Colorado man with trying to corrupt Transportation Security Administration databases containing information tied to the war on terror and other law enforcement activities.

A former Transportation Security Administration employee has been charged with trying to corrupt TSA databases.

Douglas James Duchak, 46, of Colorado Springs, Colo., was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver this week on two counts of charges of attempting to intentionally damage a protected computer. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

According to the indictment, Duchak worked at TSA's Colorado Springs Operations Center (CSOC) from at least August 2004 to Oct. 23, 2009 as a data analyst. The CSOC loads data it receives from the federal government's Terrorist Screening Database and the United States Marshal's Service Warrant Information Network into its servers, and Duchak's job was to update TSA computers with the new information.

According to authorities, Duchak was told Oct. 15 his employment would be ending Oct. 30. On Oct. 22, authorities allege Duchak put malicious code into the CSOC server that contained data from the U.S. Marshal's Service Warrant Information Network. He is accused of doing the same the next day to the CSOC server containing information from the Terrorist Screening Database.

"While this threat was an attempted internal attack on a cyber-based system by a U.S. citizen, the FBI will invest the time, resources and hard work necessary to pursue prosecution of these cases," said FBI Special Agent in Charge James H. Davis, in a statement. "The tampering with a computer that is used as a tool to protect National Security of the United States will not be tolerated."

This case was investigated jointly by the TSA, FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of the Inspector General. If convicted, Duchak faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000 for each of the two counts in the indictment.