DOD Official Says Snowden Stole "Literally Everything"

ReasonReasonAn unnamed “ranking Department of Defense official” has told The Daily Caller that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden “stole everything — literally everything.”

The Daily Caller’s reporting goes on to mention that intelligence officials in the U.K. and the U.S. have considered the possibility that Snowden may have a secret cache of information that includes the locations of undercover intelligence workers, which could act as an insurance policy against his capture.

From The Daily Caller:

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden stole vastly more information than previously speculated, and is holding it at ransom for his own protection.

“What’s floating is so dangerous, we’d be behind for twenty years in terms of access (if it were to be leaked),” a ranking Department of Defense official told the Daily Caller.

Read Reason’s J.D. Tuccille’s blog post on the possible cache here.

Earlier this month, the editor of The Guardian said that only 1 percent of the documents leaked by Snowden have been published.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The NSA: "How dare he! We stole it first!"

  • GILMORE||

    in related news, NSA warns of potential dangers from new technology only known as "NAPSTER"

    top men are working on it as we speak

  • Lord Humungus||

    well duh - if I was in the same situation as Snowden, I would pull everything down that I could. I certainly wouldn't be spending my time picking and sorting through the data - that can be done at a later time.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Unlikely everything would fit on a few hard drives. Put a multiple copies of it all on different encrypted file services, and keep only some of it in your possession so that you have something to give to the foreign governments without giving them everything.

  • Spartacus||

    He needs to have a haystack in case he needs to look for needles.

  • Drake||

    Saw this today in Forbes - former co-worker describes Snowden as a genius among geniuses.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/an.....-geniuses/

  • John||

    I can believe that. The thing is there are measures in place to keep you from just taking everything. It is not that easy even if you are an IT guy. Snowden managed not only to take all of that information, but also take it without the system noticing he did it and alerting the powers that be. I would say he is more than your average IT nerd.

  • sarcasmic||

    Systems don't alert powers that be. At best they might have an audit trail of usernames and timestamps, but they don't alert anyone. They may alert to failed attempts to log into a system, but once you have been given access you pretty much have free reign.

  • John||

    Oh yes they do. If you are in classified system attempting to access things you are not cleared to access, those systems definitely alert the powers that be.

  • sarcasmic||

    The way most of these systems work is that some administrator grants rights and privileges that give users access to specific information. If you haven't been granted access rights to something, then you don't even know that it exists. It's not like you see folders with information you're not supposed to look at, and then the system alerts your boss if you click on them. You just don't see the folders.

  • John||

    Sometimes. But I have been on those systems and seen folders I couldn't access. But, to see those folders or to access something I can't, I would have to start messing with my admin settings and that will set off alarm bells.

    Also, Snowden downloaded huge amounts of information. Any account downloading that much data should have set off a red flag to t he various administrators.

  • sarcasmic||

    I would have to start messing with my admin settings and that will set off alarm bells

    Actually, it probably wouldn't. What you are describing is at the operating system level. You just wouldn't gain access. Period. Unless an admin gave it to you.

    Any account downloading that much data should have set off a red flag

    Again, that sounds like something at the operating system level. Once you have access you have access.

    Stick to commenting on things you know about, John. Computing isn't one of them.

  • tarran||

    sarcasmic,

    The logging systems in the OpenVMS systems I used to administer were capable of logging all sorts of access attempts or even actions, and it was in a form that could be monitored.

    One could easily have the system report a count of the number of unique files that a user had touched (a thief will touch many files once, while a legitimate worker tends to concentrate on a comparatively small set of files). They could track how many files he pushed out to a USB device (assuming he had a legitimate need for one, and that that was why they weren't locked down).

    I am stunned that any intelligence agency isn't layering a logging system on top of the access control system that will kick out people who are abusing the access they legitimately have.

  • John||

    What Tarran said.

    Look sarcasmic. I am not an IT guy. But I actually do use these sorts of system. And I am telling you, the systems will alert security people if it for thinks you might be abusing the system. I have had it happen to me in one case where I downloaded several large files and got a visit from an administrator asking me what I was up to. I just explained what I was doing. But he still knew and still asked.

  • sarcasmic||

    Well I guess my experience with the DoD has been different. What I've seen is idiots telling the experts how to do their jobs. Maybe these people are more competent.

  • GILMORE||

    "guys guys guys... come on. relax. No one will ever guess "Password1234"

  • John||

    And if you don't think that is safe enough just us "QWERTY12"

  • ||

    "The password is...oorrrrrrgyy."

  • Invisible Finger||

    I am stunned that any intelligence agency isn't layering a logging system on top of the access control system that will kick out people who are abusing the access they legitimately have.

    They may very well be. And they're getting so many alerts that they don't bother. And we're talking about bureaucratic management - all of whom want special exemptions and overrides.

    I am reminded of Wing Attack Plan R.

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    They may very well be. And they're getting so many alerts that they don't bother. And we're talking about bureaucratic management - all of whom want special exemptions and overrides.

    Another thing to take into account is just how smart Snowden is. He's being called "a genius among geniuses". Even the best security isn't infallible. You just have to be more clever than the people that designed it.

  • Drake||

    Or they just asked the Consultant why so many alarms? And he told them not to worry.

  • CE||

    Sounds like a design flaw.

  • Spoonman.||

    Snowden had impressed NSA officials by developing a backup system that the NSA had widely implemented in its codebreaking operations

    So, he has every other country's secrets too?

  • kinnath||

    Another hint of his whistleblower conscience, aside from the telltale hoodie: Snowden kept a copy of the constitution on his desk to cite when arguing against NSA activities he thought might violate it.

    How did this monster make it into the NSA anyway?

  • Invisible Finger||

    Someone has to do the actual work.

  • Drake||

    Nobody else there recognized it.

  • PRX||

    apparently there is no security at the National Security Agency.

  • GILMORE||

    GOOD ENOUGH FOR GOVERNMENT WERK (o)

  • John||

    If he stole everything, then if anyone has misused the NSA for political purposes, Snowden has the proof. And that, if true, would make dealing with him a bit complicated wouldn't it?

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    "He robbed us blind!... of stuff we still have."

  • Invisible Finger||

    Don't you dare start another IP thread.

  • ||

    And he wants to go to Brazil? I wouldn't set foot outside the eastern hemisphere if I was him.

  • John||

    Depends on how much dirt he has that would be released on his death.

  • Sevo||

    Hey, he stole it from the right folks.

  • GILMORE||

    THE MOST POWERFUL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY IN THE WORLD
    has "everything" stolen by kid with a USB-drive on his keychain.

    SAFETY OF THE PLANET, IN DANGER
    if anyone expects these numbnuts can be trusted with ANY information

    if your "NATIONAL SECURITY" is so fragile as to be made vulnerable by a few simple revalations to the press, then you pretty much have the most poorly designed 'security' system ever conceived by mankind. Its the fucking OBAMACARE of 'intelligence'.

    Seriously = why shouldn't Gen Alexander, Clapper et al, all be fired and laughed out of town?

  • John||

    Because no one ever gets fired for incompetence in Washington. This is just like the Bradley Manning case. Sure, court martial Manning. But you should also be court martialing the idiots who allowed some cross dressing private to access the entire diplomatic archive of the United States.

    Every time they get up there and talk about how horrible Snowden is, they just reaffirm their own incompetence.

  • GILMORE||

    "'Every time they get up there and talk about how horrible Snowden is, they just reaffirm their own incompetence.""

    "As his coworker tells it, he was given full administrator privileges, with virtually unlimited access to NSA data. “Big mistake in hindsight,” "

    ORLY?

    DOH!!OMG HE ALL IN OUR DATABASES TAKIN TEH DATAS

  • SugarFree||

    I'd like to bring back the stocks.

  • Spartacus||

    Indeed. A couple of hours in the pillory would be more productive than a year in jail.

  • CE||

    And that's the NSA. Imagine the safeguards on your data when you sign up for Obamacare.

  • Rich||

    This can not be overemphasized.

  • Rich||

    The damage would be “of biblical proportions,” the official said.

    Of *Quranic* proportions, even.

  • Nicholas Sarwark||

    "ranking DOD official"

    What, nobody at the DoD wanted to be the one to admit on record that they got punked by a lowly contractor?

  • CE||

    It sucks when you know someone has access to all your computer information, huh NSA?

  • SugarFree||

    Excellent.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    Double excellent.

  • Invisible Finger||

    This may become my email signature.

  • Dave Krueger||

    The problem with all information sourced by government is that it could be bogus.

    But, in this case, I hope it isn't. The focus always seems to be that Snowden did this and Snowden did that. But the truth of the matter is that the intelligence agencies made this inevitable. By going so far off the tracks, they virtually guaranteed that they would eventually cross the threshold where conscience would override contractual obligations.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    HA HA

  • Mr. Weebles||

    You really can't say Snowden stole anything.

    Taxpayers fund the NSA. Snowden paid taxes.

    He just took the stuff he helped pay for.

  • Don Mynack||

    Snowden “stole everything — literally everything.”

    Chairs, tables...even walked out with a couple staplers.

  • Invisible Finger||

    He would have stolen their souls too but they don't have any.

  • GILMORE||

    "he also got all the good pens. I mean the really nice Uniballs that the boss used to hoard. Now we are all stuck with the bloody Bics that run out in like no time. That guy...."

  • Agammamon||

    Wait, wait . . . so these idiots actually keep a master NOC list?

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