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The workers actually had the guts to steal from the CIA.

Elisabeth Sherman
June 23, 2017

Some would-be spies who are really bad at their jobs were recently kicked out of the CIA for hacking into the agency's vending machines and stealing more than $3,000 worth of snacks, Buzzfeed reports.

Apparently, the CIA contractors unplugged the machines from their electronic payment system, called FreedomPay, and used so-called "unfunded FreedomPay cards" to purchase the snacks at no cost.

Could the CIA contractors afford the snacks? Most likely. Maybe they just wanted to show off their hacking skills – which turned out to be not such a great idea after all.

The CIA, which obviously specializes in things like surveillance and finding out people’s secrets, caught on to the scheme and set up cameras near the vending machines, where “Video footage… captured numerous perpetrators engaged in the FreedomPay theft scheme, all of whom were readily identifiable as Agency contract personnel,” according to the report Buzzfeed obtained.

The Agency's security team then rooted out the mastermind behind the heist, who cracked under pressure, admitting that he thought up the scheme – for reasons unknown; maybe he wanted to stick it to the man while working for the man? – and then shared it with his colleagues.

They all quickly admitted that they were part of the ring of snack thieves, and were promptly fired, but not before stealing $3,314.40 in vending machine products. Although the case was referred to the Eastern District of Virginia U.S. Attorney’s office for prosecution, the CIA declined to press charges.

No word on which snacks the bandits made off with before they were caught. Were they fans of chocolate bars or potato chips? We may never know. What we do know is that it’s surprisingly easy to hack into the vending machines at the CIA, of all places, and you might actually make off with a hefty amount of food. The downside? You’ll definitely get caught. You’re probably better off just digging around for those extra quarters.