NSA confirms Snowden scammed passwords from colleagues

A Washington Metro bus is seen with an Edward Snowden sign on its side panel December 20, 2013. Credit: Reuters
A Washington Metro bus is seen with an Edward Snowden sign on its side panel December 20, 2013. Credit: Reuters

A National Security Agency civilian employee resigned last month after telling the FBI he had inadvertently let former contractor Edward Snowden use his password to access information he was not authorized to see, according to a NSA memo sent to Congress.

The NSA told the Senate Judiciary Committee in the memo that two other workers affiliated with the NSA, including an active duty military member and an unidentified contractor, had also been “implicated” in the matter.

The memo said the contractor and military member had been stripped of their access to classified information and secure workspaces last August, but it would be up to their employers to determine “further accountability.”

The existence of the memo, dated Feb. 10 and marked “Unclassified/For Official Use Only,” was first reported online by NBC News late Wednesday.

Reuters reported in November that Snowden had used login credentials and passwords provided unwittingly by colleagues at a spy base in Hawaii to gain access to some of the classified material he leaked to the media.

In that story, Reuters said a handful of agency employees who gave their login details to Snowden had been identified, questioned and removed from their assignments.

Snowden in January called that report “simply wrong.”

 

Highly classified

The NSA says it drew up the memo that was sent this week to update the Judiciary Committee on steps the agency had taken to hold people accountable for Snowden’s unauthorized disclosures.

The civilian in question first admitted on June 18 that he had given his login credentials, in the form of a “Public Key Infrastructure certificate,” to Snowden, the memo says.

This was days after Snowden first went public as the source who supplied highly-classified documents about eavesdropping operations by NSA and some of its foreign partners to representatives of Britain’s Guardian and The Washington Post.

The memo said that when the unnamed civilian NSA employee gave the login information to Snowden, he knew it would give him access on a system known as NSANet to which Snowden otherwise was denied access.

At Snowden’s request, the NSA worker entered his password into Snowden’s computer terminal.

“Unbeknownst to the civilian, Mr. Snowden was able to capture the password, allowing him even greater access to classified information,” the memo says.

The memo says while the civilian was not aware that Snowden intended to leak classified documents, he nonetheless failed to comply with security requirements.

NSA spokeswoman Vanee Vines said the agency had no comment.

The American Civil Liberties Union, one of whose lawyers is representing Snowden, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Snowden faces criminal charges in the United States after fleeing last year first to Hong Kong and then Russia, where he was granted at least a year’s asylum.

 


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Rapper affiliate of Wu-Tang Clan 'cuts off own…

Rapper Andre Johnson, who has performed with New York outfit the Wu-Tang Clan, is in a critical condition after reportedly cutting off his own penis…

National

Cleavage complaint: Disneyland staffer orders curvy mom to…

A curvy mom-of-three says she filed a formal complaint after staff at Disneyland Resort in California ordered her to cover up her boobs. Melissa Behnken,…

Local

Supporters say man accused of robbery was misidentified

A Liberian immigrant couple charged with extorting money from an elderly woman in March will be in court Thursday for a bail hearing, but supporters say it's a case of…

International

Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

The Word

Wahlburgers announce North America domination

Tuesday was a huge day for Donnie Wahlberg.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

NHL

Flyers, Rangers meet in playoffs for 11th time

The Flyers and Rangers will start a new chapter in a historic rivalry.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers…

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers and Braves right behind

NHL

Top 5 Philadelphia storylines for Flyers-Rangers

The slate is clean for the Flyers and the Rangers. Which is good news for the Flyers.

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.