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Akamai employee charged with wire fraud

Akamai Technologies employee is accused of sharing sensitive company information with an individual he believed was an "agent of a foreign government."

An employee of Web content-delivery company Akamai Technologies has been arrested and charged with wire fraud after allegedly sharing company information with an individual he believed was an "agent of a foreign government," the U.S. attorney's office announced yesterday.

According to the U.S. attorney's office, it charged Elliot Doxer, an employee in Akamai's finance department, with one count of wire fraud yesterday. The complaint (PDF) filed in U.S. District Court in Boston against Doxer claims his crimes date back to 2006 when he allegedly contacted a foreign consulate.

Doxer allegedly wrote to the consulate that his hope "was to help our homeland and our war against our enemies." He also asked for $3,000 for the risk he was taking, the U.S. attorney's office said. But rather than take him up on the offer, the foreign consulate informed the U.S. government, which then launched an investigation.

Starting in September 2007, a U.S. federal agent claiming to be an agent for the foreign country contacted Doxer and told him of a "dead drop" where he could leave information. The U.S. attorney's office said that between that time and March 2009, Doxer "visited the 'dead drop' at least 62 times to leave confidential business information, retrieve communications, or check for new communications."

The information Doxer allegedly shared with the agent included a list of Akamai customers, contracts between Akamai and clients, and a list of Akamai employees and their contact information, the U.S. attorney's office said. The U.S. attorney's office claims Doxer also revealed Akamai's "physical and computer security systems."

In a phone conversation with CNET today, an Akamai spokesman said that "there is no evidence that Doxer disclosed any information referenced in the complaint to anyone outside of law enforcement." The spokesman also said that the company "has been cooperating over time with the FBI on this matter," but he didn't say when Akamai was first alerted to the investigation.

Doxer, who is on administrative leave from Akamai, faces up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $250,000 fine, and restitution to the victim if he's convicted, the U.S. attorney's office said. According to the Boston Globe, as of yesterday Doxer did not have an attorney and was being held without bail.