Pentagon CISO Suspected of Sharing Secrets

A top cyber official at the Pentagon is reportedly on leave while claims that she leaked classified intelligence are investigated by the Department of Defense.

Katie Arrington is employed as the chief information security officer for Acquisition and Sustainment at the Department of Defense. She was brought on board in 2019 and hired under the category of "highly qualified expert."

Arrington was informed on May 11 that her security clearance for classified information had been suspended as “a result of a reported Unauthorized Disclosure of Classified Information and subsequent removal of access by the National Security Agency.” 

The news was delivered to Arrington via a memo seen by Bloomberg News. Arrington's attorney, Mark Zaid, confirmed the contents of the memo, which did not provide any details about the alleged disclosure of sensitive information.

Zaid, told Newsweek that the United States Department of Defense (DoD) "is revealing nothing, and it's very frustrating."

He said: "The suspension of Ms. Arrington is nothing more than a routine administrative action but she is now being victimized by delays that are unfairly causing harm to national security and her reputation.

"We are ready now to address any DoD concerns and she deserves timely due process which is being denied."

The memo warned Arrington that if the "preliminary" decision was finalized, she would "not be eligible for access to classified information" or "assignments to duties that have been designated national security sensitive."

A Department of Defense spokesperson contacted by Fedscoop said the department does not comment on personnel matters.

Arrington's attorney said he was committed to bringing about a speedy resolution of the issue.

"I continue to push DoD to handle this case properly and expeditiously, and we'll consider every option we have in order to ensure due substantive and procedural process is provided," said Zaid.

Before accepting her current role, South Carolinian Arrington gained more than 15 years of cyber experience working at Booz Allen Hamilton, Centuria Corporation, and Dispersive Networks, according to her Pentagon biography. 

In 2018, former one-term Republican state representative Arrington ran an unsuccessful campaign for Congress. 

What’s Hot on Infosecurity Magazine?