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Snowden then accessed and downloaded secret NSA documents with that information

A new detail about the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) leaks has emerged: agency employees gave former NSA contractor Edward Snowden their login credentials. 

According to a new report from Reuters, Snowden conned between 20 to 25 NSA employees to give him their login credentials and passwords. Snowden did this while working as a computer systems administrator at the NSA regional operations center for a month in Hawaii last spring.

Snowden reportedly told the NSA employees that he needed their passwords in order to do his job. 

However, Snowden used their information to access classified documents that he wasn't supposed to see. He downloaded tens of thousands of secret NSA documents (as well as documents from its British counterpart, Government Communication Headquarters) as a result, and leaked them to the media. 

The report added that a "handful" of NSA employees who gave their passwords to Snowden were identified and removed from their assignments. It wasn't clear whether they were put on other assignments or fired. 

This new information regarding Snowden's use of NSA passwords was revealed when the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee approved a bill that will strengthen security over U.S. intelligence data. The bill will push for the installation of new software that can identify and track attempts to access or download secret materials without authorization.

In addition, the bill will require intelligence contractors to immediately report to spy agencies on incidents in which data networks have been accessed by unauthorized personnel.

Last month, it was reported that the NSA didn't install the most up-to-date, anti-leak software at the Hawaii operations center before Snowden arrived there for work.

In August, reports said that the NSA admitted to touching 1.6 percent of total globe Web traffic. Its technique was to filter data after harvesting it, which led to over-collection on a major scale. 

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt recently called the NSA's spying on data centers "outrageous" and that its strategies of pulling hundreds of millions of records to find a few hundred is "bad public policy" and even "illegal."

Source: Reuters

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RE: NSA security practices... hah!
By ritualm on 11/8/2013 5:02:15 PM , Rating: 2
Afterall, almost all hacking is done through social engineering, rather then some nerd sitting behind a PC looking through code, surviving only on mountain dew and pizza.

So true.

Leave a CD full of custom-built autorun malware and a USB thumb drive with the same contents in a parking lot. These days, many users don't have DVD drives on their computers anymore, so the big round discs get ignored as trash. USB drives can be reused. People would pick them up and plug them into their computers.

Without the hacker(s) needing to tell them what to do.

Humans are the weakest point in security, and physical access alone trumps every other security measure. Ironically, critical security lapses like these turn out to be the public's best weapons available for keeping tabs on governments and NSA...

RE: NSA security practices... hah!
By kattanna on 11/11/2013 12:02:07 PM , Rating: 2
Humans are the weakest point in security, and physical access alone trumps every other security measure

too true.

A company we took over had an admin who thought he was being super secure by making up those complicated random hashes for the wireless passwords, but then had no issue with standard employees printing them out in large type on a printer and taping the printed password on walls clearly visible to people walking by outside..


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