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Man charged with stealing NY Fed Reserve Bank source code

Contract employee accused of stealing source code related to Treasury Department finances.

Elinor Mills Former Staff Writer
Elinor Mills covers Internet security and privacy. She joined CNET News in 2005 after working as a foreign correspondent for Reuters in Portugal and writing for The Industry Standard, the IDG News Service and the Associated Press.
Elinor Mills

Authorities arrested a computer programmer today and charged him with stealing source code worth $9.5 million from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Bo Zhang, 32, is accused of taking the software last summer while he was working as a contract employee assigned to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Zhang allegedly admitted that in July 2011 he checked out and copied the code onto an external hard drive and on to his own computers, according to the complaint unsealed today. He said he used the code in connection with a computer programming training company he operated, the complaint said.

The proprietary source code is associated with the Government-Wide Accounting and Reporting Program software that is used by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to keep track of the government's finances. The U.S. has spent about $9.5 million to develop the code.

Zhang, who could not be reached for comment, faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.