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posted by martyb on Friday August 19 2016, @01:03PM   Printer-friendly
from the Who-knows-what-evil-lurks-in-the-hearts-of-machinery?-The-Shadow-Brokers-do! dept.

Excerpt:

"It's certainly possible that an NSA [National Security Agency] hacker goofed massively and left files in the wrong place at the wrong time. Human error can never be ruled out. Russian cybersleuths carefully watch for possible NSA operations online—just as we look for theirs—and even a single slip-up with Top Secret hacking tools could invite a disastrous compromise.

However, it's far more likely that this information was stolen by an insider. There's something fishy about the official story here. It's far-fetched to think a small group of unknown hackers could infiltrate NSA. Furthermore, explained a former agency scientist, the set-up implied in the account given by The Shadow Brokers makes little sense: "No one puts their exploits on a [command-and-control] server...That's not a thing." In other words, there was no "hack" here at all.

It's much more plausible that NSA has a Kremlin mole (or moles) lurking in its ranks who stole this information and passed it to Russian intelligence for later use. This isn't surprising, since NSA has known since at least 2010 of one or more Russian moles in its ranks and agency counterintelligence has yet to expose them."


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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 19 2016, @01:17PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 19 2016, @01:17PM (#390048)

    It's far-fetched to think a small group of unknown hackers could infiltrate NSA.

    Yeah it's far fetched to believe that the NSA has insecure practices:
    http://motherboard.vice.com/read/in-2012-edward-snowden-helped-nsa-fix-its-microsoft-macros-problem [vice.com]

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Jeremiah Cornelius on Friday August 19 2016, @02:43PM

      by Jeremiah Cornelius (2785) on Friday August 19 2016, @02:43PM (#390089) Journal

      If there's a mole in the ministry? I hope it's actually hundreds of them.

      --
      You're betting on the pantomime horse...
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 19 2016, @11:38PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 19 2016, @11:38PM (#390336)

      -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
      Hash: SHA256

      It is not a surprise to anyone who realized that S in NSA stands for Surveillance. Their budget doubled after the twin tower incident, and while their spending is opaque, it seems that more than half of their budget is dedicated to surveillance now: it has truly became their primary goal. Incidentally, this goal directly conflicts with security, unless we understand by that the security of the state actors from they call the cancer of democracy, which would, if given a chance, work tirelessly to improve the conditions of 99% at the expense of the richest and most powerful 1%.

      To stress the last point, the public security is harmed by the NSA-style total surveillance immensely. For one, it is utterly improbable that data products assembled at NSA will not leak to criminals. Most of them already have. It has been fashionable lately to point fingers at the Russian scene, but the source of cracks is irrelevant, as is the culture of security incompetence within NSA. Cases of Manning and Snowden demonstrate the ease of copying humongous quantities of classified data without detection; in both cases the leaks were sourced thanks to the voluntary confessions made by intruders themselves. It would be trivial for a competent, full-fledged insider to let out any amount of data without a risk of being uncovered, and shifting the agency's focus from security to surveillance only compounded this problem by presenting a wider attack surface to the outsiders.

      ~ Anonymous 0x9932FE2729B1D963
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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Ethanol-fueled on Friday August 19 2016, @01:23PM

    by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Friday August 19 2016, @01:23PM (#390049) Homepage

    Hoooooookay, Senator McCarthy. Yes, the criminal malfeasance of the US government is alllllll Russia's fault!

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 19 2016, @02:13PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 19 2016, @02:13PM (#390072)

      If anything, EVERYONE in the NSA is a Russian mole. If they adhered to the US constitution they'd all be dead or where Snowden is today. Real Americans wouldn't touch the Orwellian apparatus with a 10-foot pole.

    • (Score: 2) by dingus on Friday August 19 2016, @06:18PM

      by dingus (5224) on Friday August 19 2016, @06:18PM (#390203)

      It really annoys me that because there's some evidence that Russia was probably involved in the DNC hack(the evidence is nowhere near conclusive, though), all hacks that happen on American organizations are now because of the Russians.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Ethanol-fueled on Friday August 19 2016, @09:01PM

        by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Friday August 19 2016, @09:01PM (#390283) Homepage

        It really annoys me that Russia is being accused of "meddling with the election" when, if they are in fact behind the leaks, the leaks are true and are to the benefit of the public.

        That's like blaming your neighbor for truthfully warning you that your babysitter is a murderous babykiller.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Gravis on Friday August 19 2016, @02:22PM

    by Gravis (4596) on Friday August 19 2016, @02:22PM (#390078)

    NSA has known since at least 2010 of one or more Russian moles in its ranks and agency counterintelligence has yet to expose them."

    why haven't they caught them in six years and why would they tell anyone there is a mole? everything about this runs counter to logic. what makes more sense is this story is simply speculative enough to be a cover story and you can't prove a negative which makes it irrefutable.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 19 2016, @04:13PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 19 2016, @04:13PM (#390131)

      NSA has known since at least 2010 of one or more Russian moles in its ranks and agency counterintelligence has yet to expose them."

      why haven't they caught them in six years and why would they tell anyone there is a mole? everything about this runs counter to logic. what makes more sense is this story is simply speculative enough to be a cover story and you can't prove a negative which makes it irrefutable.

      What doesn't make sense about this? Let's take a more intuitive example to illustrate what could be going on: Hollywood.

      You have Galactic Films, a major producer of movies. They notice that their latest movie, "Y-Men: Apocalypse Tomorrow," was distributed on a bittorrent website a week before their film opening weekend. Moreover, their previous movie, "Iced," likewise was on bittorrent a week before release, as had their previous movie, "What About Susan?"

      It's easy to know they have a mole in their ranks, as their movies have leaked inappropriately. However, there are so many people (actors, producers, directors, critics, etc) who have had contact with their movies that they don't know who the person is. They may be able to narrow it down to a few hundred, or maybe a few dozen people, but that's still a lot. Moreover, these are among the most important people to their business; who wants to risk offending a powerful movie critic with a false accusation?

      So they know they have a mole, but aren't sure who it is. As for why they would discuss it, that could be to either get the mole to stop (from fear) or to react in a way they can spot.

      I'm sure you can see the parallels between this and the situation an intelligence agency may (or may not) be in.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 19 2016, @02:45PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 19 2016, @02:45PM (#390090)

    Americans are greedy prostitutes and would sell their own mother if it meant more money. It's easy for Russia to recruit moles this way.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by DannyB on Friday August 19 2016, @04:45PM

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday August 19 2016, @04:45PM (#390145) Journal

      You could narrow the scope of your statement from "Americans" to MBAs. It would remain just as true, but not falsely accuse other Americans. Even with it being true of a much smaller group than the general population, that is still more than enough to destroy everything.

      --
      The most difficult part of the art of fencing is digging the holes and carrying the fence posts.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 19 2016, @02:48PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 19 2016, @02:48PM (#390093)

    After the Snowden incident, I remember the NSA was talking about eliminating sysadmins so that nobody would have the same kind of access again that Snowden had.

    Did they implement that plan?

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 19 2016, @03:12PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 19 2016, @03:12PM (#390114)

      Sort of like an alcoholic determining that his problem is the empty beer cans in his room, so he resolves to eliminate them so empty beer cans laying about won't happen again. What does he do with the $20 he gets for returning them to the store? You guessed it.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 19 2016, @09:54PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 19 2016, @09:54PM (#390313)

        Wait, you're saying I can return sysadmins to their parents for a refund so I can buy more sysadmins?

  • (Score: 2) by butthurt on Saturday August 20 2016, @12:15AM

    by butthurt (6141) on Saturday August 20 2016, @12:15AM (#390354) Journal

    The organisation's Web site was giving errors for most of Tuesday.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2016/08/nsa-website-hacking-rumors-227088 [politico.com]