Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Inside NSA's Efforts To Hunt Sysadmins

Soulskill posted about 6 months ago | from the most-sedentary-sport dept.

IT 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.'"

cancel ×

147 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Hide in plain sight (5, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 6 months ago | (#46542267)

This is why I insist that my official job title is "Soup Dispenser Technician, Second Class" on all official documents.

Re:Hide in plain sight (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46542307)

If only you could pass those damned astro-navs....

Re:Hide in plain sight (1, Offtopic)

jellomizer (103300) | about 6 months ago | (#46542553)

Sysadmins are also usually the easiest target to get in.
standard password: 1amgod
Being that they are required to fix problems 24/7 that means they have a "secret" back door on their network so they can get in.
Once they are in they have a lot of access to the companies systems.

We can go, well those guys are just dumb, however I am willing to bet most of you who are sysadmins have some little back door just in case.

Re:Hide in plain sight (4, Insightful)

ravenlord_hun (2715033) | about 6 months ago | (#46542627)

Small-time admins maybe. If one works as part of a larger team, automation and documentation is king - any such backdoors would get anyone into trouble, quick.

Re:Hide in plain sight (1)

LordThyGod (1465887) | about 6 months ago | (#46542675)

Small-time admins maybe. If one works as part of a larger team, automation and documentation is king - any such backdoors would get anyone into trouble, quick.

I guess you have a definition of "small time", but I am thinking of alleged Chinese theft of Google source code. The "backdoor" was IE and very clever phishing.

Re:Hide in plain sight (1)

Bigbutt (65939) | about 6 months ago | (#46542797)

Sysadmins can work in a big company and still be 'Small Time'. We're fairly small but automation and documentation lets 5 admins manage 1,200 systems.

[John]

Re:Hide in plain sight (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46543689)

Pfft. Automation and no documentation would allow 5 admins to support thousands more. Documentation doubles or triples workload.

Re:Hide in plain sight (4, Informative)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 6 months ago | (#46543121)

Small-time admins maybe. If one works as part of a larger team, automation and documentation is king - any such backdoors would get anyone into trouble, quick.

R
O
T
F
L

Worked in Fortune corporations. If I don't stop laughing soon, I'll pass out.

Re:Hide in plain sight (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 6 months ago | (#46544145)

are you crazy? that's exactly how they hacked the Gibson!

Re:Hide in plain sight (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46543487)

In previous jobs, the closest thing to a "back door" is a SSH key. In fact, it has been also the front door too, because some machines have any remote access blocked unless it is via SSH public key authentication. This makes the auditors happy, and it also gets rid of having to change passwords every 15-30 days. It also gets around the fact that three wrong passwords would mean a permanent lockout until an admin reset the account by hand (and documented the reset in JIRA.)

In times past, a "secret" back door has been usable. However, with audits, political infighting, separate departments of IT, and the pressure of a sysadmin to constantly justify their existence or be replaced by a H-1B who will work for 1/10 the salary, there might be a known account, but that's it. In fact, most admins document the case of -no- backdoors for CYA reasons.

Most audit tools will easily find backdoors. Part of basic Windows admin training is to search AD for user accounts with rights they shouldn't have. Similar on the UNIX side with Solaris role auditing. A back door likely will be found eventually and there will be Hell to pay for it.

Finally, a smaller company, this might be doable. A larger company has so many people that a sysadmin might have a backdoor, but the network guys with the IDS/IPS will pick up its use when a SSH tunnel gets formed to a machine on the outside.

Re:Hide in plain sight (1)

SuperTechnoNerd (964528) | about 6 months ago | (#46542991)

Mine is Magical Mystical Overlord of Tubes

Re:Hide in plain sight (4, Funny)

Minwee (522556) | about 6 months ago | (#46543129)

I'm sure you would have made it further than "Technician Second Class" if it hadn't been for that unfortunate incident with the gazpacho soup at Captain Hollister's table.

A poem (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46542273)

Do not as I do, do as I say: I am the NSA!
It's alright for me to bust into others' systems all day.
What's that you say? I can do that too then, it's ok?
The NSA says nay!
Do not as I do, but as I say!

A limerick (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46542297)

There once was an NSA operative from Nantuckett
Whose ________ was so _______ he could ________.
He said with a _________ as he wiped off his __________,
"If my __________ was a _________ I would __________ it."

This has gone beyond madness (5, Insightful)

MrDoh! (71235) | about 6 months ago | (#46542293)

People need to be arrested for this. The people who ordered it done, wrote the reports, signed off on it, and anyone who did it. Ship some of them to various other countries for trials too, let everyone get into the action and let it be known to governments that this is not to be accepted.

Perhaps it is rather time..... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46542321)

for some freelancers to fill some bodybags.

It is the only way to send them a timely message.

Re:Perhaps it is rather time..... (4, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 6 months ago | (#46542473)

Good idea, I'll post a message to the facebook group for assassins for hire, and we'll... hmm... who could be at the door THIS early?

Smert Shpionam! (2)

davecb (6526) | about 6 months ago | (#46542571)

The traditional fate of spies is death, so arrange to catch one and rendition him to Russia.

Re:Smert Shpionam! (1)

dryeo (100693) | about 6 months ago | (#46543497)

Only during war time. Traditionally during peace time their fate is often to be traded for the other sides spy.

Re:Smert Shpionam! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46544009)

We've been at war for the last 13 years now, so death is still very much appropriate.

Re:Smert Shpionam! (4, Insightful)

davecb (6526) | about 6 months ago | (#46544115)

Only slightly tongue-in-cheek, I fear the US is in the middle of a civil war they haven't noticed yet...

Re:This has gone beyond madness (5, Insightful)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 6 months ago | (#46542383)

Agreed. I think the law enforcement officers that are charged with this task will arrive at the NSA when they finish arresting the bankers and brokers from the housing bubble derivatives scandal.

Re:This has gone beyond madness (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46542401)

They're arresting Barney Frank finally? About fucking time!

Re:This has gone beyond madness (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46542829)

You brainless fuck.

Re:This has gone beyond madness (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46542999)

You're a mindless vessel of talk radio drivel and a tool of the banksters.

Re:This has gone beyond madness (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46543987)

Comment should be modded funny, cause it was. The two fucksticks that replied are still living in denial that a gay democrat could fuck over society for financial gain.

Re:This has gone beyond madness (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46542393)

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

Re:This has gone beyond madness (1)

stiggle (649614) | about 6 months ago | (#46542469)

Actually they're an Intelligence Agency - they're supposed to to Intelligent things :-)

Re:This has gone beyond madness (3, Interesting)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 6 months ago | (#46542667)

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.

Re:This has gone beyond madness (1)

idontgno (624372) | about 6 months ago | (#46543889)

Think of it as unplanned pen testing. Kinda like how rape is unplanned sex.

Re:This has gone beyond madness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46543247)

NSA:1
SYS ADMIN:0
checkmate

Re:This has gone beyond madness (2)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 6 months ago | (#46542751)

That's like saying it's a cop's job to shoot people.

Re:This has gone beyond madness (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 6 months ago | (#46542427)

Your mention of shipping people 'to various countries' gives me an idea...

Since all the 'extraordinary rendition' bag, drag, and torture kids at the CIA are still running around in arrogant impunity, going so far as to just yoink inconvenient documents from the Senate Intelligence Committee(seriously, most of the members of that are appeasnik fuckwits who basically worship the clandestine services, so it must be really, really bad if the CIA is embarrassed in front of them. Also, if there are things the clandestine services do that even that part of the senate isn't allowed to know about, can we really maintain the pretense that civilian government is actually in anything resembling control?) how about pitting two problems against one another?

It'll be an exciting contest, like a reality TV show; but with higher stakes, rules as follows:

The NSA will be the intelligence-spooks team: their job is to dig up as much dirt on the CIA as possible, by whatever l33t haxx0ring necessary, and try to have the CIA neutralized by political and/or public outrage, at least to the point of organizational collapse, to the point of wholesale hangings-from-the-lampposts for bonus points.

The CIA will be the wet-ops creeps team: they will have to 'disappear' key NSA personnel to our worldwide network of extralegal torture dungeons fast enough to keep the lid on their dirty laundry, and try to drive the NSA to the point of institutional paralysis or collapse, with extra points awarded for any actually-true facts obtained during the 'enhanced interrogation' sessions.

Gentlemen, to the starting line, and may you both lose!

I have to comment on this one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46542623)

Best. Idea. Ever.

Re:This has gone beyond madness (3, Insightful)

LookIntoTheFuture (3480731) | about 6 months ago | (#46542441)

People need to be arrested for this.

Absolutely. It's astonishing that it hasn't happened already. Where's the line? What will it take to cross it? That is the scary part.

Re:This has gone beyond madness (4, Insightful)

Ben4jammin (1233084) | about 6 months ago | (#46542481)

Where's the line? What will it take to cross it?

I think the issue is that there was a line, and it got crossed. Once you cross it once, it becomes easier to cross, because hey it wasn't so bad last time.

Then, if you are put in relative isolation (enough for "group think" to take over) then it becomes easier still because you are validated for crossing it (dude we just saved lives by crossing the line...besides the "bad" guys are crossing it)

And this continues until you really can't even remember why you crossed it the first time, but there is so much danger out there you don't have time to really contemplate it, either. Until one day you realize that you are looking in the mirror each morning at someone who has become a stranger.

But by then it is too late...to challenge it now would precipitate an identity crises that isn't nearly as much fun as seeing yourself as the hero of the world.

Re:This has gone beyond madness (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 6 months ago | (#46543353)

But by then it is too late...to challenge it now would precipitate an identity crises that isn't nearly as much fun as seeing yourself as the hero of the world.

Congratulations, you just described the mode in which basically everyone operates. We all just tell ourselves we're being pragmatic as we sell out our futures. We don't live for today or tomorrow, but for an outcome that will never exist as long as we don't alter our behavior.

Re:This has gone beyond madness (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46542501)

Absolutely! Can you imagine that it has come THIS FAR??? Intelligence agents trying to collect intelligence??? What has this world come to???

Re:This has gone beyond madness (2)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 6 months ago | (#46542691)

Intelligence agents trying to collect intelligence illegally ?

FTFY

Re:This has gone beyond madness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46543339)

[citation needed]

Re:This has gone beyond madness (1)

Zumbs (1241138) | about 6 months ago | (#46543073)

I love lines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.

- NSA operative

Re:This has gone beyond madness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46542463)

I can see the headlines now.....
Government Officials Arrest Themselves!

willy

Re:This has gone beyond madness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46542545)

What I don't understand is how folks on here (generally intelligent, reasonable people...I think) don't understand how the NSA isn't breaking any laws and therefore aren't legally doing anything wrong (that we know, of course). You might think there should be a law against what they're doing or think it is unconstitutional, but until congress and the President pass a law against such activities, there isn't anything keeping them from doing it in the name of national security. It will take the Supreme Court to rule something as unconstitutional, not you and me.

So you can post all you like about what you perceive as wrong but until you can convince legislators to take this to task and write laws supporting privacy and the like, this is the law of the land whether you and I like it or not.

Re:This has gone beyond madness (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 6 months ago | (#46542757)

You don't seem to understand what constitutional is then.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F... [wikipedia.org]

"A "search" occurs for purposes of the Fourth Amendment when the government violates a person's "reasonable expectation of privacy. Katz's reasonable expectation of privacy thus provided the basis to rule that the government's intrusion, though electronic rather than physical, was a search covered by the Fourth Amendment, and thus necessitated a warrant.[35][40] The Court said that it was not recognizing any general right to privacy in the Fourth Amendment,[41] and that this wiretap could have been authorized if proper procedures had been followed.[40]"

Re:This has gone beyond madness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46543017)

A "search" occurs for purposes of the Fourth Amendment

In these cases, the crime isn't being committed against the actual target of the investigation. The crime is being committed by a state actor (NSA) against a US corporation (by compromising the infrastructure of the sysadmin who works for the US corporation).

US persons, working for US corporations, are being pwned by the very agency that is mandated to provide them with information assurance.

The closest military analogy I can come up with is worse than the use of human shields: "OK, Private, you know the enemy uses US civilians as human shields, and that's when we use the .50 caliber to make sure the bullet goes through the US civilian in order to get the terrist hiding behind him!"

Re:This has gone beyond madness (3, Funny)

Minwee (522556) | about 6 months ago | (#46543153)

"OK, Private, you know the enemy uses US civilians as human shields, and that's when we use the .50 caliber to make sure the bullet goes through the US civilian in order to get the terrist hiding behind him!"

"But I don't see anyone hiding behind any of those civilians!"

"They can be tricky. Start shootin' anyway."

Re:This has gone beyond madness (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 6 months ago | (#46542625)

This is more of a matter for the UN Security Council. The government of the USA has just declared war on all the sysadmins of the world. Note, I said the government of the US, and not the citizens.

. . . oh, I forgot . . . the US government has a veto vote on the UN Security Council, so good luck with that . . .

I wonder how that will affect business, like in, "I can't do business with you . . . we are in a state of war with you . . ."

Re:This has gone beyond madness (3, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 6 months ago | (#46542801)

How would the veto work if the UN voted out the USA?

"I veto your voting us out!" "You can't do that, you've been voted out so you therefore have no veto." "But the vote is vetoed, so we weren't voted out!" "..." "..."

Re:This has gone beyond madness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46542981)

How would the veto work if the UN voted out the USA?

I get what you're saying, but being voted out of the UN might be a blessing, and they could vote Israel out too, so we could both go into 'loose cannon' mode with no pretense about being nice about it.

In addition, the US could give them 24 hours before nationalizing the UN building. I've always said the UN's headquarters belong in Geneva.

Re:This has gone beyond madness (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 6 months ago | (#46543219)

The vote has to pass before the US is out, and the vote doesn't pass if the US vetos it. So the US isn't voted out.

Re:This has gone beyond madness (1)

BobMcD (601576) | about 6 months ago | (#46543557)

It turns out there may be a way...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U... [wikipedia.org]

Re:This has gone beyond madness (5, Interesting)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about 6 months ago | (#46542631)

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.

Re:This has gone beyond madness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46543609)

I'm going to be the true AC (with emphasis on the "C" aspect) and disagree. Time for a devil's advocate position:

The FSB, the ISI, and Chinese intel are doing the same exact things, except that whatever they find is going to be immediately used for their country's economic advantages. When intruders from China broke into US solar companies, copied off masks and other trade secrets, then started producing panels for less than the costs of the rare earths, this destroyed a good part of the US economy. Were the US to try that to another country, say by stealing engine designs from Chery and selling cars for less than the cost of the steel in them, there would be a trade war, if not a real war.

I'm not worried about the NSA... I'm quite worried about the other foreign agencies who are doing far more damage in the shadows.

Re:This has gone beyond madness (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about 6 months ago | (#46544013)

The FSB, the ISI, and Chinese intel are doing the same exact things, except that whatever they find is going to be immediately used for their country's economic advantages.

Of this I have no doubt, but where I disagree is on

a) The scale: I guess the NSA is acting on a scale of one if not two orders of magnitude higher than its counterpart agencies abroad. This no matter how you measure activity.

b) Discretion: At least if the Russians or the Chinese were monitoring us, we wouldn't be hearing about it as much as from the NSA. While it is a data collection machine, the organisation is acts in an amatuerish fashion when it comes to seeking, storing, and protecting its information and activities.

c) Whatever about the industrial reasons for Russian/Chinese espionage, the NSAs domestic programs appear to have no reason to exist other than simply to exist. Or else the NSA is actively gearing up for a cuop d'etat in the United States.

The NSA is a different beast than its counterprats or historical ancestors. We are witnessing the creation of a new, powerful, and very sinister type of human organisation.

Re:This has gone beyond madness (1)

PPH (736903) | about 6 months ago | (#46544191)

So you are saying that, even if such behavior is wrong, the fact that someone else does it makes it OK?

One of the NSA's duties was supposed to be ensuring the security of our networks from foreign spying. Doing so and exposing foreign exploits with the idea that they are wrong and disrupt global trade would have been the moral high ground. But we lost that position a long time ago. We can no longer argue that other nations should follow our example because our example is no better then theirs.

And if you think that the NSA/CIA are only collecting foreign intelligence for the benefit of US corporations, you are wrong. These organizations have a long history of collecting domestic intelligence and handing it to their friends in the company across the street.

Re:This has gone beyond madness (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46542917)

People need to be arrested for this. The people who ordered it done, wrote the reports, signed off on it, and anyone who did it.
Ship some of them to various other countries for trials too, let everyone get into the action and let it be known to governments that this is not to be accepted.

Assuming the targets are not US citizens, and are outside the US, arrested for what?

This is what intelligence agencies are supposed to do.

Hell, most countries don't exclude their own territory nor citizens from being targeted by their own intelligence agencies.

Re:This has gone beyond madness (1)

PPH (736903) | about 6 months ago | (#46544007)

Assuming the targets are not US citizens, and are outside the US, arrested for what?

Espionage. Most countries have applicable laws.

This is what intelligence agencies are supposed to do.

Apprehend the guilty parties, try them and shoot them for spying. This is what countries security services are supposed to do.

Hell, most countries don't exclude their own territory nor citizens from being targeted by their own intelligence agencies.

So China spies on its own citizens. I don't think anyone would be shocked if they arrest a foreign agent for doing the same.

Re:This has gone beyond madness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46542941)

While waiting for the arrests, I'll go terminating all my relations to anyone I care about, take some armed close combat lessons, stop having sex with anyone but myself and u..using po..porn to avoid honey traps, refresh my mad Krav Maga and Aikido skills and buy a pair of cool sun glasses to cover my dark soul. Oh, and build some system independent tripwires.

Who better you ask? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46542367)

Directors, Chiefs and Managers. That's who. Most CEOs I've met are quite arrogant and controlling. That and the underlings don't want to cross them. The result is that they have complete access to everything.

Don't be evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46542377)

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!

Cool. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46542391)

Will they let us know when they're breaking in? I've got a list of stuff I'm too lazy to fix. Maybe they can pitch in.

Then I will hunt them first. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46542423)

(police show up at house)

"Wait...what are you doing! I was just making a joke online...I didn't mean it...please!"

(shot in face, staged as suicide)

Stop it right now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46542447)

We Europeans are very angry regarding the actions that NSA is performing. We do not want dickheads like these messing with the Internet, to which we are connected too.

Re:Stop it right now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46542485)

Then feel free to setup trade sanctions against the USA, Most people in the US don't like this but we can't change it due to the NSA having blackmail material on elected officials and all of us. Maybe they will listen to the corps if they start screaming loud enough.

Re:Stop it right now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46544097)

Then perhaps you should also show some anger towards GCHQ and/or your local equivilent instead of just the NSA? I know you guys like to believe that all problems are because of the US, but this is a global problem involving just about every government that matters.

Once compromised, it's a two way street.. (5, Interesting)

FirstOne (193462) | about 6 months ago | (#46542471)

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.

Re:Once compromised, it's a two way street.. (2)

boristdog (133725) | about 6 months ago | (#46542537)

I had to point this out to our security dept several years back. They were scanning everyone's computer and user drive and building cases to fire people for anything they considered inappropriate. I told them that just because something is on someone's computer doesn't mean they put it there.

They finally listened when I secretly buried an empty directory called "kiddie porn" on one of the security managers user profile. Root access is awesome. The witch hunts stopped soon after.

Re:Once compromised, it's a two way street.. (1)

228e2 (934443) | about 6 months ago | (#46542881)

Cool Story Bro.

So where do you work now???

Re:Once compromised, it's a two way street.. (1)

boristdog (133725) | about 6 months ago | (#46542893)

Same place. Head of security is gone, however.

Re:Once compromised, it's a two way street.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46542995)

We finally caught you. Thank you for admitting to putting that folder on your coworkers computer. You should starting packing your things, we will have you fired by the end of the day.

Re:Once compromised, it's a two way street.. (1)

Minwee (522556) | about 6 months ago | (#46543167)

They finally listened when I secretly buried an empty directory called "kiddie porn" on one of the security managers user profile. Root access is awesome. The witch hunts stopped soon after.

Which reminds me, how has your job hunt been going?

Re:Once compromised, it's a two way street.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46542579)

Holy shit! You mean there are people out there trying to break into computers???? When did this start happening?? Now that we know the NSA was trying it, the cat is out of the bag and I bet other people and groups only now will have the idea and will start to try it. Call City Hall! Something should be done about this! It is the loss of innocence! The safe world of the Internet as we've known it is now gone. JINX YOU NSA! JINX YOU!!!

Re:Once compromised, it's a two way street.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46542611)

Win the case and get disappeared.

FTFY

Re:Once compromised, it's a two way street.. (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 6 months ago | (#46543371)

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.

Why would that help? A "former NSA admin" makes a convenient scapegoat. Come up with some employees who will strongly suggest that he was pushed out the door due to possible illegal activity and it's goat stew time

yawn. (2, Insightful)

nblender (741424) | about 6 months ago | (#46542493)

I read through it. What I got was some full of himself mid-level network aware weenie who managed to get a job at NSA and get access to a vast trove of captured packet data trying to impress people with his vast knowledge of intarwebs protocols... I bet the smart people at NSA who are reading his lunatic ravings are wondering "who hired this asshole?"

Re:yawn. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46542933)

It's less about the value or quality of his advice and the idea that he suggested it in the first place and they probably thought that's not a half bad idea and went with it. We already know for a fact that they were planting fake employees inside major corporations to backdoor their systems. Their only barrier at that point is a very active and capable system administrator noticing something foul going on, so it makes sense they would attempt to steal his credentials.

This makes me wonder about the legitimacy of the investigation against that Childs guy who wouldn't hand the passwords over to the state a while back. I wonder if the nsa pulled some strings or embedded employees to put the pressure on him to give up the passwords knowing that he wouldn't do it in order to get an investigation launched against him and put him in jail so they could have unfettered access to the network.

Re:yawn. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46543425)

We already know for a fact that they were planting fake employees inside major corporations to backdoor their systems.

We do?? Is this a real fact, or a "someone posted it on a blog and everyone runs with it" fact?

I spy my spy (1)

denisbergeron (197036) | about 6 months ago | (#46542499)

When a spy agency have to spy its own spy, it's not a spy agency anymore but a paranoiac employer.
And it's also the end of any mccarthyism in the USA

Obligatory comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46542521)

Let me (us) ______________________ and I (we) care not who writes the laws.

Let a well-informed imagination fill in the blank. In this case, "run the intelligence agencies" would be an appropriate choice.

use POT (Personal Open Terminal) easy to see me(s) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46542555)

i just log on & there we are; me:>/// & me (nsa):>/// advanced to a fault

Turnabout is fair play, isn't it? (3, Interesting)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 6 months ago | (#46542707)

If they are compromising sysadmins without due process, then a sysadmin like Snowden compromising them is just desserts.

I love the irony of this... (3, Insightful)

bwcbwc (601780) | about 6 months ago | (#46543579)

While NSA was hunting sysadmins, they were being pwned by...a sysadmin!

Yet another example of how NSA is too focused on offensive network capabilities (breaking into target systems) and doesn't pay enough attention to defense (strong crypto, open security models, etc.)

Smartest guy in the room (3, Insightful)

Krazy Kanuck (1612777) | about 6 months ago | (#46542877)

Sadly the NSA isn't, and creating these back doors is just creating a honey pot for those who are. Stop compromising our networks in the name of "national security".

Agreed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46543429)

It's like they're saying "we can cure cancer but give you AIDS instead".. wtf?

The apologists will darken the skies (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46542879)

As bad as such revelations are, what drives me nuts is all the apologists who crawl out of the woodwork every time one of these stories breaks. They have no end of justification for whatever the NSA or CIA does, anything from "I have nothing to hide" to "privacy is dead, stop bitching because the Good Guys are working t protect you".

I predict the kind of practice in TFA is going to keep mushrooming until someone uses it as a political weapon and then gets caught. Only then will the jock-sniffing Congress do something substantive about this mess.

If I were advising Hillary Clinton, I'd tell her to never touch another computer until her political career is over.

CFAA (2)

neghvar1 (1705616) | about 6 months ago | (#46542927)

It would be nice if we could sick the CFAA on the NSA. Unofrtunately, they are immune from that law.

oh, you think sigint is your ally. (5, Funny)

nimbius (983462) | about 6 months ago | (#46543035)

But you merely adopted the shell. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn't see the GUI until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but BLINDING!
The login prompts betray you, because they belong to me.

so give it your best, young man. I and my greybeards are forged in this art. We know that behind your presentation, your boldface scrawlings and your bemused predatory preamble that we have coffee ringed RFC's that have seen more fervent attempts than yours. Save yourself some grief and maybe curry our favour. target our PHB instead.

Would make a great movie... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46543189)

Isn't this just about how every future based movies starts out where government gets too big and powerful while infringing on the people's basic rights until finally a band of rebels decided enough is enough and had the guts to stand up and say we are going to take this BS anymore.

My take on it. (3, Informative)

Noryungi (70322) | about 6 months ago | (#46543225)

If you are a sysadmin, and you have a Facebook page, LinkedIn account, social-media-whatever thingmagajig or Slashdot account, the NSA may well come after you.

Remember: this is written in plain sight and the NSA created fake Slashdot account to get into Belgacom.

I am a sysadmin. I have a Slashdot account. Maybe it is time for me to say so long, and thanks for all the fish. What Beta was not able to do, the NSA did.

Re:My take on it. (2)

Nyder (754090) | about 6 months ago | (#46543685)

If you are a sysadmin, and you have a Facebook page, LinkedIn account, social-media-whatever thingmagajig or Slashdot account, the NSA may well come after you.

Remember: this is written in plain sight and the NSA created fake Slashdot account to get into Belgacom.

I am a sysadmin. I have a Slashdot account. Maybe it is time for me to say so long, and thanks for all the fish. What Beta was not able to do, the NSA did.

Ya, and admitting your a sysadmin probably doesn't help either.

I think we are asking the wrong question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46543459)

It's obvious that the NSA is using well people just like us that have a belief that the rules do not apply to them and are getting feedback from the people they work for at the NSA, that they are in fact right and the rules do not apply to them. this should cause you to bristle, cause while it is very sad that 9/11 occurred but I personally dont put my personal safety above my liberty. I value it more and it was a tenant of the founding of country. the ends do not justify the means. Perhaps the question we should ask those in charge is, where is the line that you wont cross? rather than why do you keep stepping over the lines in the sand we the people draw?

If you are reading this on /. (1)

Dharkfiber (555328) | about 6 months ago | (#46543537)

It has already happened.

I think this is FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46543559)

A good systems engineer will be aware.

It's always good to have a Honeypot configured.

I monitor all attempted connections. You should make use of /etc/hosts.allow and /etc/hosts.deny
Monitor all activity.

My personal home network I launch attacks against ip addresses that attempt to log into my services running on my system.

LinkedIn... (1)

Larry_Dillon (20347) | about 6 months ago | (#46543913)

So they're basically running through LinkedIn and targeting anyone who says they're a SysAdmin, a VP, or anyone else who looks like they might have elevated privileges?

Re:LinkedIn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46544177)

I am sure Mr Zuckobug will be pleased by these tactics.

NSA to Sysadmins ... (1)

PPH (736903) | about 6 months ago | (#46544051)

Do our bidding or we'll out your posts on /mlp/.

Can You Say FAKE ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46544151)

So some guy figured knocking up a document in "NSA style" makes it look authentic ?

Yeah, REL/FVEY/USEY/TS

I do think NSA and GCHQ perform massive hacks, but this particular document most probably is a fake.

Schönes Wochenende noch. Auch den Spannern von der NSA. Streichelt Eure Gänse.

Really Stupid NSA... (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about 6 months ago | (#46544195)

Wow they are amateurs now.

Dear NSA, want to do your job right? then start watching top networking companies for job openings and have your Networking expert agents apply for the jobs there. Nothing better than having your agent working on the inside.

a "hit list" is stupid, you waste a LOT of time having to deal with them, but if Agent Davis is a network admin at VERIZON or AT&T then you make a single phone call to own the network.

This tip is free, otherwise I am $4500 an hour minimum of 10 hour charge for any more consulting, als you pay all travel costs and I only fly private or military jet. F16 trainer preferred.

Re:Really Stupid NSA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46544405)

I only fly private or military jet. F16 trainer preferred.

It's a little known fact that all real SysAdmins travel by private rail car. Your cover is blown.

damnit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46544289)

stop reading my Brain.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>