The US Department of Justice has unsealed an indictment against Monica E. Witt, also known as Fatemah Zahra, a former US Air Force technical sergeant who served as a counterintelligence specialist and Farsi linguist. She left the Air Force in 2008 but continued to work as a Government contractor through 2010. Before she defected to Iran in 2013, the Washington Post reports, the FBI warned her she was probably the target of recruitment by Iranian intelligence, and she promised to be careful.
Her turn in sympathies may have been marked by her attendance of a New Horizons Organization conference in Iran on "Hollywoodism," or the depravity of American popular culture. The indictment alleges that after her defection Ms Witt created dossiers ("target packages") for Iranian intelligence services on her former colleagues in counter-intelligence, thereby contributing to the social engineering of US security and intelligence personnel. Four Iranians were also indicted.
In a coordinated action, the US Treasury Department announced sanctions against the four Iranians and the New Horizons Organization.
Stolen PII usually turns up for sale in some dark web souk, but that hasn't happened with data lost in 2017's big Equifax breach: the information's nowhere to be found. CNBC speaks with sources who are convinced that a foreign intelligence service has the data. It's possible that a common criminal stole the information and then decided it was too hot to fence, but that's looking increasingly unlikely. PII are of course useful in social engineering, that is, in recruiting agents.