WASHINGTON, March 10 A Colorado man has been
charged with trying to sabotage a U.S. security database that
holds sensitive information used for screening air travelers,
the Justice Department said on Wednesday.
Douglas Duchak, 46, had worked at a Transportation Security
Administration operations center for five years, updating its
computers with data from the Terrorist Screening Database and
the U.S. Marshal's Service Warrant Information Network.
The TSA is primarily responsible for screening passengers
at U.S. airports and uses information from intelligence and law
enforcement agencies to prevent people who pose a threat from
boarding commercial flights.
The agency has come under new pressure to ramp up security
in the wake of a failed plot in late December to blow up a U.S.
Duchak was told he would be terminated in October 2009 and
about a week before his last day, he allegedly tried to load
malicious code into TSA servers, according to the indictment.
The database was not compromised, according to officials.
Duchak entered a not guilty plea during a hearing in
Colorado and was released on a $25,000 bond, the U.S.
Attorney's office in Colorado said.
"The tampering with a computer that is used as a tool to
protect national security of the United States will not be
tolerated," James Davis, an FBI special agent, said in a
If convicted of attempted intentional damage to a protected
computer, Duchak could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine
of $500,000. His lawyer was not immediately available for
(Reporting by Jeremy Pelofsky; Editing by John O'Callaghan)