Several CIA contractors were ultimately fired after stealing an estimated $3,314.40 in goods from the agency’s vending machines, according to BuzzFeed.
BuzzFeed reported that it had obtained a declassified Office of Inspector General (OIG) report from October 2013 describing the incident.
The OIG report said the “theft scheme” ran from the fall of 2012 until March 2013 and involved an electronic payment system called FreedomPay.
The contractors reportedly unplugged a cable connecting the vending machines to the system and used “unfunded FreedomPay cards” to buy the food at no cost.
Twitter users on Wednesday weighed in on the unusual story, which concluded with the OIG launching an investigation of the thefts.
The OIG reportedly installed “surveillance cameras at several key vending locations where a high occurrence of thefts were taking place” to end the problem.
“Video footage recovered from the surveillance cameras captured numerous perpetrators engaged in the FreedomPay theft scheme, all of whom were readily identifiable as Agency contract personnel,” the OIG’s report says.
Investigators purportedly discovered one unidentified contract employee created the scheme using “his knowledge of computer networks.”
The employee admitted to successfully testing the hack, BuzzFeed reported, before sharing the idea with several colleagues.
BuzzFeed reported an unidentified number of suspects copped to the thefts after one was caught on camera.
The perpetrators reportedly surrendered their CIA badges, were escorted from the agency’s building and were sacked by their individual contract employers.