Feeds

Snowden: Hey fellow NSA worker, mind if I copy your PASSWORD?

Whistleblower talked colleagues into handing him their login credentials

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Edward Snowden persuaded his NSA colleagues to hand over passwords which he later used to download top secret material and leak it to the press.

According to a report on Reuters, the whistleblower cribbed login details from up to 25 co-workers, who have now all been questioned and moved on to different jobs. It is not known how many people were fired.

Sources said he told other staff he needed the information to carry out his job as a computer systems administrator.

Previously, it was claimed the NSA failed to install the latest version of software designed to identify attempts to download data.

Snowden worked at the Hawaii facility for just a few months before leaking a huge cache of documents relating to mass indiscriminate surveillance by American and British spooks.

Security experts warned that top secret organisations often fail to spot the inside threat.

"In the classified world, there is a sharp distinction between insiders and outsiders. If you've been cleared and especially if you've been polygraphed, you're an insider and you are presumed to be trustworthy," said Steven Aftergood, a secrecy expert with the Federation of American Scientists.

"What agencies are having a hard time grappling with is the insider threat, the idea that the guy in the next cubicle may not be reliable," he added.

The boss of GCHQ claimed to Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee that Snowden's revelations had directly helped Al Qaeda. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.