Vulnerabilities

Former FBI agent on trial for theft of classified cybersecurity and terrorism information

A recent report states that an analyst at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with security clearance level “ultra-secret” would have improperly concealed national security information related to cybercriminal operations and terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda. Kendra Kingsbury was working in the Kansas City Division of the FBI until she was licensed in December 2017. Now, the former agent faces accusations for alleged extraction of confidential documents between June 2004 and December 2017.

The report notes that the type of information committed is a national priority and was collected for at least 10 years. Alan Koher, deputy director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division, says: “The defendant was able to jeopardize some of the country’s most important secret operations; we will do our best to investigate anyone who prepends their own interests to U.S. national security.”


The defendant was an intelligence analyst in Kansas City for nearly 13 years at the time of her suspension. Kingsbury was assigned to various FBI investigative teams focused on illicit activities such as drug trafficking, violent crime, counterintelligence and gangs. The former agent faces two counts of improper possession of documents related to national security issues.

The first charge against Kingsbury relates to the possession of documents related to the fight against terrorist activities, counterintelligence and cyberwarfare tactics: “Documents relate to sensitive national security operations, as well as including details about the FBI’s intelligence capabilities,” the court documents state. The second charge concerns efforts to gather intelligence on terrorist groups, including information on Al-Qaeda members in Africa and an alleged associate of terrorist Osama bin Laden.


The indictment mentions that Kingsbury was not authorized to extract and retain this information: “The agent knew that unauthorized removal of these documents and their storage in unauthorized locations is a serious violation of national security laws.”

Kingsbury is in detention and is awaiting his sentence, which could lead her to spend a long time in prison.

To learn more about information security risks, malware variants, vulnerabilities and information technologies, feel free to access the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) websites.


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