General Electric Engineer Arrested at Niskayuna Home

posted by WGY News - 

A General Electric Engineer is under arrest after the FBI and Homeland Security raided his Niskayuna home Wednesday morning.

Xiaoqing Zheng was lead out of the home in handcuffs just before noon. According to his LinkedIn page, he is a Principal Engineer at GE.

The Department of Justice says Zheng has been charged with stealing trade secrets belonging to General Electric.

GE released a statement saying: "We have been in close cooperation with the FBI for some time on this matter. At GE, we aggressively protect and defend our Intellectual Property and have strict processes in place for identifying these issues and partnering with law enforcement. We won’t have any additional comment at this time as this is an ongoing investigation."

From a Department of Justice Press Release:

"The criminal complaint alleges that on or about July 5, 2018, Zheng, an engineer employed by General Electric, used an elaborate and sophisticated means to remove electronic files containing GE’s trade secrets involving its turbine technologies. Specifically, Zheng is alleged to have used steganography to hide data files belonging to GE into an innocuous looking digital picture of a sunset, and then to have e-mailed the digital picture, which contained the stolen GE data files, to Zheng’s e-mail account."

Zheng is being held without bail and has a scheduled court hearing Thursday at 1:30pm.

The charge filed against Zheng carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of up to three years.

The video below explains how secrets can be hidden in digital images.

Photo/Video: WNYT

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