An indictment has been unsealed charging Charles Harvey Eccleston, a former employee of the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), in connection with an attempted email “spear-phishing” attack in January 2015, targeting dozens of Department of Energy employee e-mail accounts.
The indictment was announced today by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, Acting U.S. Attorney Vincent H. Cohen Jr. of the District of Columbia and Assistant Director in Charge Andrew G. McCabe of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.
The indictment was unsealed, along with an earlier-filed complaint and affidavit, following Eccleston’s first appearance this afternoon in the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia. The court ordered that he remain detained pending a hearing set for May 20, 2015.
According to the affidavit, the goal of the attack was to cause damage to the computer network of the Department of Energy through a computer virus that Eccleston believed was being delivered to particular department employees through emails, and to extract sensitive, nuclear weapons-related government information that Eccleston believed would be collected by a foreign country.
Haven’t read the indictment, but my guess is China.