Insider threats are real. The worrying aspect of this story is the fact that Xu had worked for IBM for about 4 years, thats a long time to gain access to a lot of information.

One of the challenges in companies is that once an employee has been around for a number of years, a certain level of trust is built and people seldom question access levels needed or odd working patterns. 

Xu pled guilty and could face up to 15 years for economic espionage.