Ex-US scientist sentenced in attempted cyber-attack

WASHINGTON (AP) — A former Nuclear Regulatory Commission scientist has been sentenced to a year and a half in prison for plotting a cyberattack on federal government computers.

Charles Harvey Eccleston was sentenced Monday in Washington’s federal court.

He pleaded guilty in February to attempting to insert a virus onto an Energy Department computer network.

Prosecutors say Eccleston, who was fired from the NRC in 2010, was a disgruntled ex-employee who attracted FBI attention after entering a foreign country’s embassy in the Philippines and offering to sell email account information for U.S. government employees.

He later met with undercover FBI employees as part of a plot to deliver the computer virus. But prosecutors say the link he thought contained the virus was actually developed as part of the undercover operation and was inert.

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