A former contractor at the US Transport Security Administration (TSA) was this week sentenced to two years jail for poisoning its network operations centre's upstream databases.
In October 2009 Douglas Hames Duchack tampered with code in the Terrorist Screening Database, a key information source for the administration's operations centre, which serves as a screening point for transport risks in Colorado.
"Due to effective security protections, TSA was able to detect and disrupt this attempt to corrupt a system designed to protect the traveling public," TSA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Inspection Dave Holmes said in a statement on Wednesday.
Duchack tampered with the database by removing instructional code after being told his role would be terminated, according to details from a plea agreement.
Until learning of the impending termination, he was under the belief he would only be transferred to other duties and had agreed to train his replacement.
However after training his replacement Duchack allegedly learned that he would no longer have a role at the organisation.
Duchack then accessed the terror database and deleted code from the program that was used to format birth information in connection with an arrest warrant database.
Four days later Duchack's replacement noticed code running that he believed would disrupt the TSA's security screening processes.
Duchack was told not to come back to work while the TSA alerted the FBI.
The former TSA contractor's sentence included paying over US$60,000 in retribution costs.