Edward Snowden Got a Bunch of NSA Info By Stealing a Coworker's Password

Illustration for article titled Edward Snowden Got a Bunch of NSA Info By Stealing a Coworker's Password

It's fun to imagine the spy games that must have been involved in Edward Snowden's exposure of the NSA's massively invasive surveillance techniques. But, as NBC reports, a lot of that information came the way you might snoop on your significant others' email: He stole some poor sap's password.

The report cites a recently revealed memo (PDF) that claims Snowden convinced a civilian employee with a higher security clearance to enter his password onto Snowden's computer. A password that Snowden swiped, and used to gain access to classified information. The duped employee, according to NBC, has since resigned.

The memo also sheds more light on previous reports that Snowden had used the passwords of "20 to 25" fellow NSA employees to gain breadth of access that enabled him to become perhaps the most impactful whistleblower in American history.


This particular revelation is also important because Snowden had previously seemed to deny reports that he had lifted passwords from coworkers. The memo also implicates an active member of the U.S. military and an NSA contractor as having aided Snowden in his efforts to expose agency overreach. [NBC]

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I still find it odd people are shocked that governments spy on their own citizens and each other.

All Snowden really did was confirm what I pretty much assumed.