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Inside NSA's Efforts To Hunt Sysadmins 147

An anonymous reader writes "The Snowden revelations continue, with The Intercept releasing an NSA document titled 'I hunt sys admins' (PDF on Cryptome). The document details NSA plans to break into systems administrators' computers in order to gain access to the networks they control. The Intercept has a detailed analysis of the leaked document. Quoting: 'The classified posts reveal how the NSA official aspired to create a database that would function as an international hit list of sys admins to potentially target. Yet the document makes clear that the admins are not suspected of any criminal activity – they are targeted only because they control access to networks the agency wants to infiltrate. "Who better to target than the person that already has the ‘keys to the kingdom’?" one of the posts says.'"
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Inside NSA's Efforts To Hunt Sysadmins

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 21, 2014 @09:11AM (#46542393)

    This is kinda their jobs. It's what they do. They're a SPY agency. They do spyish things.

  • by FirstOne ( 193462 ) on Friday March 21, 2014 @09:23AM (#46542471) Homepage

    Once you break into a admin's computer, with his credentials, it's a two way street.. One can plant evidence just as well as detect it..

    Now that this info is public knowledge, any accused should levy a defense that the NSA planted the evidence, since they have the ability and the court has no way of identifying planted information verses unapproved activity.

    Advice to NSA admins, I know it is a cushy job, but find another job NOT in the government, the NSA is on a witch-hunt it's only a matter of time before they turn innocent bystanders into criminals.

  • We are dealing with an extremely well funded, well staffed, and well equipped professional criminal organisation. Whatever it's actual mandate is, the NSA has taken it upon itself to be the worlds premiere cyber-crime hacking group, accountable to no state, code, man, or law, and who regard the Internet and all computers on it-- foreign or domestic-- as fair game for fraud, intrusion and seizure. The organisation is out of control; without moral compass, budgetary restraint, or regulatory oversight.

    It is only a matter of time before individuals and managers within the NSA create actual links with the criminal fraternity and begin to engage in for-profit cyber-crime. Indeed, this has probably occured already.

    And should the cyber-crime divisions inside the NSA ever make common cause with their criminal counterparts in the financial sector -- God help Western Civilisation. The closest parallel I can think of is the rise of the nobility-church-state alliance in the ancien regiem and the subsequent ruination of France prior to the revolution.

  • by NatasRevol ( 731260 ) on Friday March 21, 2014 @09:43AM (#46542667) Journal

    Actually, they're a security agency. It's even in their name.

    Not that hacking into every sysadmins computer would give anyone security, but that's another matter.

  • by king neckbeard ( 1801738 ) on Friday March 21, 2014 @09:46AM (#46542707)
    If they are compromising sysadmins without due process, then a sysadmin like Snowden compromising them is just desserts.

Money can't buy love, but it improves your bargaining position. -- Christopher Marlowe