Software used to track billions of dollars in US federal transactions was stolen in July last year by a programmer working at New York’s Federal Reserve Bank, prosecutors have alleged in a Manhattan court.
Bo Zhang, reported to be a Chinese national, was charged with stealing the software by copying it onto an external hard drive. he then took that hard drive home and copied the code onto his own PC and laptop.
Court filings show that the theft was only discovered when Zhang told a colleague that he had lost an external hard drive containing the code. He admitted the theft to federal agents in August 2010, saying that he had taken the code "in order to ensure that it was available to him in the event that he lost his job,"
The code, called the Government-wide Accounting and Reporting Program, cost the US Treasury Department nearly $10 million dollars to develop and provides federal agencies with account balance statements.
In a statement, a US Treasury spokesperson told Bloomberg that it is working to strengthen security procedures for contractors."“There was no compromise of any transaction data, personal identifying information or federal funds,” the spokesperson said.
Zhang, who had previously worked at Goldman Sachs and Bank of America, has been in America on a work visa since 2000, an anonymous source told Bloomberg. He was released a $200,000 bond, with a court appearance set for February 17.