Feeds

FBI roots own systems to find spy's backdoor

Did Hanssen compromise the whole shebang?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

The FBI is systematically searching for evidence that suspected double agent Robert Hanssen, who has computer programming skills, compromised systems at the Bureau and/or the State Department with some manner of malicious backdoor, according to an unnamed source quoted in Monday's Washington Post.

"The jury is still out as to what he was able to do," the official is quoted as saying. But "because of the possibilities, we’ve got to take a look."

Hanssen had the highest security clearance, which gave him access to extremely sensitive data. The FBI fears that he might have enabled Russian spies to access secure systems used by the FBI, State and other agencies.

According to the Post report, the FBI has determined that Hanssen did not implant anything malicious into its secure, internal network which is not connected to the Internet.

It is not known whether he had access to the Intelink system, by which means intelligence data is shared among US agencies, and the Feds aren't talking about it.

Another possibility is that Hanssen might have compromised some sensitive systems, but erased evidence of it a year or two ago in anticipation of detailed audits required by the Y2K rollover bug.

If that should be the case, then the Feds will have to assess the damage to intelligence networks from indirect evidence alone, unless the suspect decides to sing. ®

Related Story

FBI traitor suspect had mad C skillz

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.