Sentencing, Mr Justice Fulford told April Casburn she had been guilty of "a corrupt attempt to make money out of sensitive and potentially very damaging information".
The judge went on:
He said he was particularly concerned about Casburn's child, and admitted that her absence while she is in prison could be damaging.
But he said that, had she not been arrested, the detective would have returned to work by now, and therefore the child would be cared for by others anyway.
Detective Chief Inspector April Casburn was today jailed for 15 months at the Old Bailey after being found guilty last month of misconduct in public office for offering to sell information to the News of the World.
Casburn, 53, had been warned that a jail term was likely despite the fact that she is in the process of adopting a child.
A detective found guilty of misconduct in public for offering to sell information to the News of the World is due to be sentenced today.
Detective Chief Inspector April Casburn, 53, has been warned that a jail term is likely, despite the fact that she has recently adopted a child.
The senior counter-terrorism expert, who managed the National Terrorist Financial Investigation Unit, "sought to undermine a highly sensitive and high profile investigation at the point of its launch", prosecutors said.
She had called the newspaper's news desk in September 2010 and spoke to a journalist about the new investigation into phone hacking, telling him six people were under investigation, including former News of the World editor Andy Coulson.
She claimed that she made the call because she was worried about counter-terrorism resources being wasted on the inquiry, which her colleagues saw as "a bit of a jolly".
Likening the male-dominated unit to the TV series Life on Mars, she said there was "palpable excitement" about who would get to meet celebrities such as Sienna Miller.
But the jurors rejected her explanation and took just three-and-a-half hours to unanimously find her guilty.
Speaking outside court, Crown Prosecution Service lawyer Greg McGill said, "DCI Casburn has been found guilty of misconduct in public office - not only did she seek to divulge confidential information, she sought to leak details of a case to the very newspaper under investigation".
"This is a very serious offence and the jury has today agreed that DCI Casburn's actions were criminal", he added.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission described DCI April Casburn's conviction as "a testament to the strenuous efforts being undertaken to identify police officers who may have taken corrupt payments".
IPCC Deputy Chairman Deborah Glass said today's prosecution "also sends a strong message that the public can not and will not tolerate corruption from police officers".
"The IPCC will continue to intrusively supervise Operation Elveden to ensure that the Metropolitan Police Service is robust in rooting out corruption in its ranks", Ms Glass added.
The Metropolitan Police said it's a "great disappointment" that a senior counter-terrorism detective "abused her position" by offering to leak information to the News of The World on the phone-hacking inquiry.
An MPS spokesperson said:
The MPS highlighted this is the first prosecution to result from the phone-hacking and linked inquiries.
Detective Chief Superintendent Gordon Briggs, is overseeing the inquiries into phone hacking, corrupt payments and other privacy breaches.
Speaking outside court, after a senior counter-terrorism detective was found guilty of offering to leak information to the News of The World on the phone-hacking inquiry, he said.
A senior counter-terrorism detective was today found guilty of trying to sell information to the News of the World.
Prosecutors said Detective Chief Inspector April Casburn tried to undermine the hacking investigation by offering to leak details to the tabloid newspaper .
Mark Bryant-Heron told the jury: "She sought to undermine a highly sensitive and high profile investigation at the point of its launch.
"It was a gross breach of the trust that the public places in a police officer not to disclose information on a current investigation in an unauthorised way, or to offer to do so in the future for payment."
Casburn will be sentenced later this month and was released on unconditional bail until then.
Detective Chief Inspector April Casburn has been found guilty at Southwark Crown Court of misconduct in public office for trying to sell information to the News of the World.
Casburn, 53, committed a "gross breach" of the public's trust by calling the now-closed tabloid and offering details of the phone-hacking investigation in return for payment.
She telephoned the Sunday newspaper early on September 11 2010 and spoke to journalist Tim Wood, complaining about pressure from Lord Prescott over the probe and giving the names of two former NotW journalists under investigation - Andy Coulson and Sean Hoare.