Feeds

Edward Snowden's not a one-off: US.gov hunts new secret doc leaker

Poor old Julian Assange – whistleblower went straight to Glenn Greenwald

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

It appears former NSA contractor Edward Snowden is not the only leaker of secret US documents around, as the US government searches for another whistleblower in the aftermath of another leak of classified information.

CNN reports that leaked documents related to a terrorist watch list and published by The Intercept (a site founded by Snowden confidante journalist Glenn Greenwald) didn't even exist before Snowden quit his job as a NSA contractor in Hawaii and high-tailed it from the US.

That means the former sysadmin couldn't have siphoned off this particular piece of secret information and that some other unknown source must be behind the leak.

US authorities are said to be hunting the new whistleblower.

The Intercept's article, published on Tuesday, covers the growth in US government's Terrorist Screening Database, a watchlist of “known or suspected terrorists” that lists 680,000 people, many of whom have no known affiliation with a terrorist group. The article cites documents compiled by the National Counterterrorism Center in August 2013 – three months after Snowden left the US in May 2013.

The leaked database is shared with local law enforcement agencies, private contractors, and foreign governments. These are secret documents and less sensitive than the "top secret" files spirited away by Snowden.

Eric Chiu, president & co-founder of cloud control company HyTrust, said the latest leak underlined the wider problem of insider threats.

"Insider threats can cause the most damage to any organisation - government agencies, corporations and others," Chiu commented. "The issue is that once an attacker or malicious employee (or frankly, someone that doesn't have the same philosophical beliefs) is on the network, it is impossible to tell a good guy from a bad guy; that person can take their time to siphon off large amounts of data without being detected."

He added: "Organizations need to put a higher urgency around securing against insider threats, especially when customer data, intellectual property and top security information is at stake.

This requires that organisations take an "inside-out" approach to security and assume the bad guy is already on the network. Chiu said: "Access controls including the two-man rule, role-based monitoring and data encryption are key requirements to make this happen, especially in highly concentrated environments like virtualisation and cloud," he added.

Greenwald has previously said other potential whistleblower might be inspired by Snowden's example, even hinting at times that others might already be in play.

In a February interview with CNN, Greenwald said: "I definitely think it's fair to say that there are people who have been inspired by Edward Snowden's courage and by the great good and virtue that it has achieved."

"I have no doubt there will be other sources inside the government who see extreme wrongdoing who are inspired by Edward Snowden," he said. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION
You thought you were all alone? Nope – change your password, says ICO
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Managing SSL certificates with ease
The lack of operational efficiencies and compliance pitfalls associated with poor SSL certificate management, and how the right SSL certificate management tool can help.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.