Two US military contractors have agreed to pay substantial fines for employing the services of Russian programmers for software that was delivered and installed on the computer network of the US Department of Defense.
According to a statement issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Columbia, the two companies are NetCracker Technology Corp. headquartered in Waltham, Mass., and Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC) headquartered in Falls Church, Va.
Back in 2008, CSC, an information technology services company, won a DoD contract for building communications software for DOD’s DISA (Defense Information Systems Agency).
From 2008 to 2013, CSC subcontracted some of their work to NetCracker, a company specialized in telecom software and services.
To keep costs down and provide the software under the deadline, NetCracker used individuals without security clearances, living outside the US.
While the U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to name their nationality, a complaint from 2013 by John Kingsley, a former NetCracker manager, said the programmers the company hired were living in and nearby Moscow, Russia, as SC Magazine is reporting.
Unlike Snowden, “whistleblower” Kinglsey will receive $2 million
Mr. Kingsley made his complaint under the whistleblower provision of the False Claims Act. This provision allowed him to file a complaint on behalf of the US government against the two companies.
For this breach of contract clauses and national security, NetCracker agreed to pay $11.4 million while CSC agreed on $1.35 million.
The same provision that allowed Mr. Kingsley to break his confidentiality clause and report his company also warrants he’ll receive a portion of the damages. According to official documents, Mr. Kingsley will collect $2,358,750.
The two companies resolved their lawsuit by reaching an out-of-court settlement that also guarantees that no legal liability was determined, which means that nobody has to go to jail.
US officials did not provide details on the status of the “corrupt” software installed on DoD computers, but common sense points us to believe it was removed back in 2013.