March 11, 2010, - 11:01 am

Was This TSA Guy Just Disgruntled . . . or Working for Islamic Terrorists?

By Debbie Schlussel

Was TSA employee Douglas James Duchak working for Islamic terrorists?

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It’s a major national security breach.  But it’s getting almost no media coverage outside of Colorado and a few techie sites.

In October, Duchak, a TSA analyst in Colorado Springs, sent a virus into federal government computers to disable the databases containing information about terrorists–specifically, the no-fly list–and U. S. Marshal warrants.  Why did he do this?  Well, a week earlier, he learned his TSA employment was being terminated.  But that could be a red herring.  You don’t try to disable these systems and risk your freedom, just because you lost your job.  Or would you?

It sounds like Duchak may have been working for someone.  If so, the question is, for whom?  Obviously the feds believe some sort of terrorist group may be involved or the FBI–the lead agency investigating terrorism–wouldn’t be on the case.  And, it sounds to me, like Duchak was trying to allow a terrorist or terrorists for whom there may have been an arrest warrant, to fly into the U.S. and needed to do it before his job ended.  If so, who was the terrorist(s)?  And if there wasn’t one, why else would Duchak specifically target those databases and risk going to jail?  He was surely going to be caught, as he was.  Is it really possible that he was just a disgruntled employee who was notified a week earlier that his job would be terminated, and decided to sabotage the system?  I don’t think so.

Earlier this week, Duchak was indicted.  Read the indictment here.  The indictment is brief and says very little.  And I believe there’s a lot to this story we’re not being told.

More:

A former employee of the Transportation Security Administration has been indicted by the Denver federal grand jury for attempting to sabotage TSA computers that enable TSA airport personnel to spot potential terrorists before they board airliners.

Douglas James Duchak, 46, of Colorado Springs, worked for the TSA from August 2004 through October 2009.

According to the indictment, Duchak sent a code or virus into computers at the TSA’s Colorado Springs Operations Center in the attempt to disable the TSA computer system, which receives information from the government’s Terrorist Screening Database and the U.S. Marshal’s Service Warrant Information Network.

The indictment said that the TSA computer system is critical in “vetting of individuals” who are attempting to gain access to “secure areas of the nation’s transportation system.”

The indictment said that Duchak’s duties included updating the databases with new information.

He allegedly inserted a virus programmed to spread on a specific date to destroy the computer system.

However, TSA technicians spotted the virus and were able to neutralize it before it could damage the system, said Jeff Dorschner, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Denver.

What do you think–just a disgruntled employee or something more sinister?

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23 Responses

Another strange aspect is that the virus (to destroy the files) was set to activate at a later date. It seems to me that if the person were enraged about being terminated, he’d have immediately destroyed the files. It would have been an impulsive act, not something carefully thought out, planned in advance…Was he really so stupid as to think that he’d not get caught?

J.S. on March 11, 2010 at 11:12 am

    “set to activate at a later date”

    This is cold blooded, lying in wait, first degree intent.

    In fact, it’s very muzzie!

    goldenmike4393 on March 11, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    You do make a good point. If this were just a guy upset about losing his job and lashing out, why would he bother to give his virus an activation date? Also, what were the circumstances surrounding his termination? Was it due to incompetence or for some other reason that has not been disclosed to us.

    Worry01 on March 11, 2010 at 12:40 pm

This does seem suspicious, but I wouldn’t be so quick to assume that the Feds think this is terrorism-related simply because the FBI is involved. True, the FBI is the “lead agency investigating terrorism” within the US, but it is also the lead agency investigating ANY crimes against the U.S. Since this was an attack on TSA (a Federal agency) systems, the FBI would be involved regardless of whether this is terrorism or not.

A: Your last statement is not correct. The FBI would not necessarily be involved. In fact, the DHS Office of the Inspector General and TSA Office of Professional Responsibility agents would have domain over the case, and they were involved, but so was the FBI. And it’s clear why: the FBI was brought on because they simply don’t know why this guy did it, and it’s possible he was working with terrorists. DS

an honest question on March 11, 2010 at 11:19 am

Transportation Security Administration – more like Terrorist Support Agency because of DHS, JaNo and BHO.

Jarhead on March 11, 2010 at 11:53 am

I would also like to know why the TSA, after notifying this employee of his impending termination, allowed him access to such sensitive databases? In most companies and public sector outfits where immediate terminations do not occur, the person slated for removal would be taken off of “serious” work, and have their access removed or downgraded accordingly. This is weird on many levels.

Worry01 on March 11, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Worry01: The terminated employee’s union would have filed a lawsuit? Incompetence? He should have been walked to the door with a security escort immediately after being fired.

    KingSlav on March 11, 2010 at 12:54 pm

By attempting to disable a critical computer system that enables TSA airport personel to identify potential terrorists before they can board aircraft, Duchak knowingly put possibly hundreds of lives at risk.

In my view, his actions constitute conspiracy to a commit terrorist act, regardless of whether he was acting on behalf of others. We are all aware that terrorists will continue their attempts to board aircraft with the intent to destroy it and kill those aboard. Duchak’s actions would have facilitated such an attack, which was sure to have been eventually attempted, and likely more successfully thanks to Duchak.

Of course it’s terrorism-related, regardless of whether Duchak acted alone in inserting the virus.

Mike on March 11, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Setting a software “time bomb” can also be done in an attempt to deflect suspicion, i.e. if you know you are leaving the company today, you set a time bomb to go off in 2 months, thinking no one will suspect you since you have been gone for 2 months…

BTW- TSA “agents” were at my train station this morning, boarding trains, looking around for 2 seconds (turning their heads left and right in the doorway), then getting off… in other words, doing a whole lot of nothing…

Doda McCheesle on March 11, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Others have already commented about why he was not immediately walked out the door when the decision was made to let him go. Now I will ad my two cents. As someone who has worked in Computer Security I learned that a threat bigger than external hackers is the disgruntled employee.

TSA employees especially need to be escorted the instant the decision is made to let them go. Period. Lawsuits are not an issue since you could always pay them for a period of time without having them present in the building.

I_AM_ME on March 11, 2010 at 1:46 pm

It’s fun to make assumptions, like the time Debbie said the Virginia tech shooter was a paki due to the suspect being called Asian.

Nak on March 11, 2010 at 2:50 pm

I think he was simply an asshole.

#1 Vato on March 11, 2010 at 9:44 pm

Wait until the TSA gets Unionized, then it will take a couple of years to terminate a great fellow like this.

EDS on March 12, 2010 at 12:07 am

The termination procedures called for in sensitive positions are clear: your access is immediately revoked, you clear out your desk in presence of security, and your badges are surrendered on point of termination.

STANDARD Federal procedure.

WTF is TSA/HS doing?? And its interesting to note that the US is NOT asking for jail on these charges?? Excuse us? I thought jail and large fines were pretty much standard in these cases– especially for the criminal damage done here.

What, is this a Obozo campaign worker?

You’re correct, Debbie. Something is very stinky here.

dahozho on March 12, 2010 at 4:31 pm

You are all very wrong about this.

1. Mr. Duchak didn’t put a “virus” into a computer system. He ran a test on the system that was misconstrued as putting unknown content in the database.
2. He was not fired, he was let go b/c his position was no longer needed in the organization. So any premeditated notion is completely ridiculous.
This man has a wife, a little boy and another child that was due to be born around the time of the incident. He had plans to move back East and just started a new position in Colorado at the time of his arraignment. He was very settled in the community and had a respect for this country that most of you don’t have for anything in your daily lives. He is a great guy and the truth will be revealed in time.

T on March 30, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    OH YEAH, Forgot about the “if you have a wife a little boy and child due” clause which means all your doings and intentions are good and patriotic.

    Z on April 19, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    Hey T…You were correct, the TRUTH has been revealed!!! He has most assuredly has MOVED BACK EAST NOW! I’ll bet they even have a “NEW POSITION” for him while he enjoys his stay at the Morgantown Federal Correctional Institute.

    Z on April 15, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    No. He’s a piece of shit who was having an affair on his lovely wife while she was pregnant. He’s out of jail, has a good job again, but he’s still a lying, using, piece of shit who uses people and controls them. He’s a fucking asshole with 3 other kids that hate his guts and another daughter on the west coast that’s dying from heroin addiction. He doesn’t even try and help her. He uses people, controls them and is a master manipulator. He’s a piece of shit. He’s a domestic terrorist that doesn’t give a fuck about our countries safety

    Lee on February 16, 2014 at 1:14 am

    No, sorry T. He’s just a piece of shit, lying fat ass is what he is.

    ZakMan on May 20, 2014 at 9:57 pm

Mr. Duchak is my friend’s dad. Just to set the records straight he has three other kids with his previous wife and him having children does not make him a “nice” man. I know for a fact that his kids do not like him and he is not a good guy. He was nice if you meet him, but he has done some bad things in his life that you can’t make up for. I’m not surprised he did this and I really don’t think this had anything to do with terrorists. I just think it was just another one of his stupid moves.

M on June 2, 2011 at 3:58 am

He actually works now for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UMPC) in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. So, Mr Duchak who is a convicted domestic terrorist who served 2 years in Federal prison for tampering with the safety of the citizens of the United States, has ACCESS TO PEOPLE’S MEDICAL RECORDS!!!!!!!
What the fuck was this company thinking? Are you serious? Doesn’t that scare the hell out of you?
I hope someone WAKES UP and puts 2 & 2 together.

Hy on February 17, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Yep, works for UPMC now. In THEIR I.T. DEPARTMENT!!!
He has access to people’s medical records!!!
Wake UP!!

ZakMan on May 13, 2014 at 2:53 pm

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