HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » NSA Staffer: Snowden Didn...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Mon Dec 16, 2013, 09:23 AM

NSA Staffer: Snowden Didn't Dupe Coworkers Out of Passwords [View all]

http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2013/12/16/an-nsa-coworker-remembers-the-real-edward-snowden-a-genius-among-geniuses

Andy Greenberg, Forbes Staff
Covering the worlds of data security, privacy and hacker culture.

SECURITY | 12/16/2013 @ 8:30AM |3,015 views
An NSA Coworker Remembers The Real Edward Snowden: 'A Genius Among Geniuses'

Perhaps Edward Snowden’s hoodie should have raised suspicions.

The black sweatshirt sold by the civil libertarian Electronic Frontier Foundation featured a parody of the National Security Agency’s logo, with the traditional key in an eagle’s claws replaced by a collection of AT&T cables, and eavesdropping headphones covering the menacing bird’s ears. Snowden wore it regularly to stay warm despite the air conditioning in the underground NSA Hawaii Kunia facility known as “the tunnel.”

His coworkers assumed it was meant ironically. And a geek as gifted as Snowden could get away with a few irregularities.

Months after Snowden leaked tens of thousands of the NSA’s most highly classified documents to the media, the former intelligence contractor has stayed out of the limelight, rarely granting interviews or sharing personal details. A 60 Minutes episode Sunday night, meanwhile, aired NSA’s officials descriptions of Snowden as a malicious hacker who cheated on an NSA entrance exam and whose work computers had to be destroyed after his departure for fear he had infected them with malware.

But an NSA staffer who contacted me last month and asked not to be identified–and whose claims we checked with Snowden himself via his ACLU lawyer Ben Wizner—offered me a very different, firsthand portrait of how Snowden was seen by his colleagues in the agency’s Hawaii office: A principled and ultra-competent, if somewhat eccentric employee, and one who earned the access used to pull off his leak by impressing superiors with sheer talent.

The anonymous NSA staffer’s priority in contacting me, in fact, was to refute stories that have surfaced as the NSA and the media attempt to explain how a contractor was able to obtain and leak the tens of thousands of highly classified documents that have become the biggest public disclosure of NSA secrets in history. According to the source, Snowden didn’t dupe coworkers into handing over their passwords, as one report has claimed. Nor did Snowden fabricate SSH keys to gain unauthorized access, he or she says.

Instead, there’s little mystery as to how Snowden gained his access: It was given to him.

“That kid was a genius among geniuses,” says the NSA staffer. “NSA is full of smart people, but anybody who sat in a meeting with Ed will tell you he was in a class of his own…I’ve never seen anything like it.”

MORE AT LINK

202 replies, 10047 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 202 replies Author Time Post
Reply NSA Staffer: Snowden Didn't Dupe Coworkers Out of Passwords [View all]
Hissyspit Dec 2013 OP
hootinholler Dec 2013 #1
Autumn Dec 2013 #2
billhicks76 Dec 2013 #142
sabrina 1 Dec 2013 #3
idwiyo Dec 2013 #4
jsr Dec 2013 #5
randome Dec 2013 #6
Hissyspit Dec 2013 #7
DesMoinesDem Dec 2013 #9
randome Dec 2013 #11
Hissyspit Dec 2013 #13
randome Dec 2013 #15
bvar22 Dec 2013 #102
randome Dec 2013 #104
bvar22 Dec 2013 #107
randome Dec 2013 #113
bvar22 Dec 2013 #117
Enthusiast Dec 2013 #161
JDPriestly Dec 2013 #120
randome Dec 2013 #132
JDPriestly Dec 2013 #138
reACTIONary Dec 2013 #147
JDPriestly Dec 2013 #154
reACTIONary Dec 2013 #180
JDPriestly Dec 2013 #184
reACTIONary Dec 2013 #195
JDPriestly Dec 2013 #196
reACTIONary Dec 2013 #199
JDPriestly Dec 2013 #200
reACTIONary Dec 2013 #201
bvar22 Dec 2013 #171
randome Dec 2013 #172
bvar22 Dec 2013 #173
reACTIONary Dec 2013 #181
bvar22 Dec 2013 #186
reACTIONary Dec 2013 #192
reACTIONary Dec 2013 #179
VanillaRhapsody Dec 2013 #151
hueymahl Dec 2013 #123
Mnpaul Dec 2013 #152
randome Dec 2013 #170
Mnpaul Dec 2013 #198
reACTIONary Dec 2013 #182
Mnpaul Dec 2013 #185
bvar22 Dec 2013 #187
Mnpaul Dec 2013 #191
reACTIONary Dec 2013 #194
reACTIONary Dec 2013 #193
Mnpaul Dec 2013 #197
reACTIONary Dec 2013 #202
ProSense Dec 2013 #10
randome Dec 2013 #12
ProSense Dec 2013 #14
Hissyspit Dec 2013 #16
ProSense Dec 2013 #17
Hissyspit Dec 2013 #20
ProSense Dec 2013 #24
Luminous Animal Dec 2013 #30
ProSense Dec 2013 #32
Hissyspit Dec 2013 #33
Enthusiast Dec 2013 #162
DesMoinesDem Dec 2013 #21
Luminous Animal Dec 2013 #23
niyad Dec 2013 #47
ljm2002 Dec 2013 #50
ProSense Dec 2013 #54
ljm2002 Dec 2013 #57
ProSense Dec 2013 #59
ljm2002 Dec 2013 #63
ProSense Dec 2013 #64
DesMoinesDem Dec 2013 #82
ProSense Dec 2013 #84
ljm2002 Dec 2013 #92
ProSense Dec 2013 #94
hueymahl Dec 2013 #158
tblue37 Dec 2013 #148
Luminous Animal Dec 2013 #26
randome Dec 2013 #28
Hissyspit Dec 2013 #38
randome Dec 2013 #40
Rex Dec 2013 #67
bvar22 Dec 2013 #103
MADem Dec 2013 #48
randome Dec 2013 #66
MADem Dec 2013 #68
randome Dec 2013 #69
MADem Dec 2013 #78
jmowreader Dec 2013 #108
randome Dec 2013 #114
jmowreader Dec 2013 #124
MADem Dec 2013 #126
grasswire Dec 2013 #73
Rex Dec 2013 #75
MADem Dec 2013 #83
Rex Dec 2013 #86
MADem Dec 2013 #95
Rex Dec 2013 #97
MADem Dec 2013 #100
ljm2002 Dec 2013 #118
MADem Dec 2013 #122
ljm2002 Dec 2013 #125
MADem Dec 2013 #163
ljm2002 Dec 2013 #166
MADem Dec 2013 #174
MADem Dec 2013 #80
Mojorabbit Dec 2013 #31
Springslips Dec 2013 #42
ProSense Dec 2013 #55
Mojorabbit Dec 2013 #109
uponit7771 Dec 2013 #19
niyad Dec 2013 #8
KurtNYC Dec 2013 #45
niyad Dec 2013 #49
uponit7771 Dec 2013 #18
Hissyspit Dec 2013 #22
uponit7771 Dec 2013 #25
Luminous Animal Dec 2013 #27
uponit7771 Dec 2013 #34
Hissyspit Dec 2013 #29
uponit7771 Dec 2013 #35
Hissyspit Dec 2013 #36
uponit7771 Dec 2013 #110
NuclearDem Dec 2013 #51
grasswire Dec 2013 #76
Rex Dec 2013 #87
uponit7771 Dec 2013 #111
bvar22 Dec 2013 #188
Enthusiast Dec 2013 #164
pscot Dec 2013 #37
riderinthestorm Dec 2013 #46
ProSense Dec 2013 #58
riderinthestorm Dec 2013 #93
LineLineLineLineLineLineLineReply ?
ProSense Dec 2013 #96
riderinthestorm Dec 2013 #99
randome Dec 2013 #106
riderinthestorm Dec 2013 #155
MADem Dec 2013 #176
MADem Dec 2013 #175
randome Dec 2013 #178
treestar Dec 2013 #101
uponit7771 Dec 2013 #112
Hissyspit Dec 2013 #145
uponit7771 Dec 2013 #168
Hissyspit Dec 2013 #143
DevonRex Dec 2013 #183
KentuckyWoman Dec 2013 #39
Hissyspit Dec 2013 #41
Th1onein Dec 2013 #53
Rex Dec 2013 #65
klook Dec 2013 #72
Rex Dec 2013 #74
grasswire Dec 2013 #79
Rex Dec 2013 #85
QC Dec 2013 #88
Rex Dec 2013 #89
rhett o rick Dec 2013 #43
jsr Dec 2013 #44
bvar22 Dec 2013 #52
ProSense Dec 2013 #56
bvar22 Dec 2013 #105
Rex Dec 2013 #60
Enthusiast Dec 2013 #167
HangOnKids Dec 2013 #61
Matariki Dec 2013 #81
Enthusiast Dec 2013 #165
Rex Dec 2013 #62
Aviation Pro Dec 2013 #70
Rex Dec 2013 #77
ronnie624 Dec 2013 #90
2banon Dec 2013 #71
Demeter Dec 2013 #91
Rex Dec 2013 #98
dregstudios Dec 2013 #115
Whisp Dec 2013 #116
Maedhros Dec 2013 #119
Whisp Dec 2013 #121
Ash_F Dec 2013 #127
Whisp Dec 2013 #128
Ash_F Dec 2013 #131
Whisp Dec 2013 #135
Ash_F Dec 2013 #146
Maedhros Dec 2013 #129
Whisp Dec 2013 #130
Hissyspit Dec 2013 #141
Whisp Dec 2013 #150
LittleBlue Dec 2013 #136
Whisp Dec 2013 #137
Hissyspit Dec 2013 #139
Hissyspit Dec 2013 #140
Whisp Dec 2013 #149
Hissyspit Dec 2013 #153
blackspade Dec 2013 #133
SpcMnky Dec 2013 #134
another_liberal Dec 2013 #144
avaistheone1 Dec 2013 #156
madrchsod Dec 2013 #157
GoneFishin Dec 2013 #159
Enthusiast Dec 2013 #160
ohheckyeah Dec 2013 #169
Hekate Dec 2013 #177
Blue_Tires Dec 2013 #189
stevenleser Dec 2013 #190