An Akamai accounts worker has been arrested for alleged wire fraud. This follows a sting operation during which the man was led to believe he was handing over confidential information to an agent of a unnamed foreign power.
In reality, Elliot Doxer, 42, was dealing with an undercover FBI agent. The agency were tipped off about the illicit trade by the consulate of the foreign government the would-be spy wanted to help.
Doxer allegedly offered to help the country in a case that began with an email in June 2006, containing what he acknowledged to be information limited to "invoicing and customer contact information" from the application-delivery firm.
The consulate passed over the information to the feds, who mounted an undercover operation that began almost a year after the first approach. For the next 18 months, Doxer left confidential business data such as customer lists and contracts at a drop zone, actions recorded by video surveillance, Computerworld reports.
During the episode, Doxer tried to solicit payment for his troubles from his supposed handler and, at other times, favours such as information and pictures of his estranged son. The whole caper bears more than passing similarities to episodes from the Coen Brother's Burn After Reading, a black comedy about incompetent spies, rather than something from the pen of author John le Carré.
Akamai, which co-operated with the FBI during the investigation, described Doxer as a junior employee. There's no evidence he disclosed information to anyone outside US law enforcement. ®