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Harold T. Martin III is said to have collected data from the NSA classified as ‘secret’ or ‘top secret’ for many years. In 2016, the lawsuit against the former employee of the service began after he was arrested. Now it appears that Martin could possibly be arrested thanks to information shared by Kaspersky Lab.

Two anonymous sources tell Politico how employees of Kaspersky Lab passed on information about Martin to the U.S. government, after Martin sent unusual private messages to the company via Twitter. This involved five messages from an anonymous Twitter account called @HAL999999999, which were sent to two of the company’s researchers.

The first message was sent on 15 August 2016. It asked if a researcher could set up a conversation with Yevgeny, the birth name of CEO and founder Eugene Kaspersky. “Find out how we can talk… with Yevgeny present”, according to the message. The second message said, “Shelf life, three weeks.”

The messages came only 30 minutes before someone who called himself Shadow Brokers shared a link to a collection of NSA tools on Tumblr. The guy announced that other tools were being auctioned for 1 million bitcoins. After the researchers responded to the messages, they were blocked by the account. An analysis of the account by the researchers led them to Martin and the work he did.

That was enough for the investigators to contact the NSA. They thought all this had to do with the case of Shadow Brokers.


Martin was arrested on 27 August 2016. He stole a total of 50 terabytes of data, including documents and tools from the NSA’s Tailored Access Operations Division. Martins’ lawyers have been working since the arrest to get the Ministry of Justice to share full copies of the evidence in the case. The Twitter messages came out when the judge refused to suppress evidence in the case, because the government had used the messages as a basis for their search.

The fact that it was Kaspersky who would have shared this information is ironic. The company’s software and services have been banned from the government in the United States, after Donald Trump signed a law to this effect in December 2017. The antivirus company is accused of sharing data from their software with the Russian intelligence services.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.