NSA Workers Handed Passwords to Snowden

He fooled them into helping him access classified info
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 8, 2013 2:28 AM CST
NSA Workers Handed Passwords to Snowden
Some NSA workers now regret handing their passwords over to this helpful systems administrator.   (AP Photo/The Guardian, Ewen MacAskill)

Up to 25 workers at a spy base in Hawaii now regret turning over their login details to a computer systems administrator: Edward Snowden. The whistleblower was able to access much of the classified material he leaked to the media by using passwords he obtained by telling colleagues he needed the passwords to do his job, sources tell Reuters. Several workers who unwittingly helped Snowden were questioned and removed from their assignments, the sources say.

"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," says 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." (Read more Edward Snowden stories.)

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