According to a memo issued by the National Security Agency to members of Congress, former contractor Edward Snowden may have resorted to stealing his coworkers’ login credentials in order to gain entry to the agency’s highly classified database. Snowden has denied the accusation and claimed the report to be incorrect.
The memo also relates how Snowden obtained the Public Key Infrastructure password of an NSA civilian employee by getting him to type it on his work computer. The unnamed employee was not aware that Snowden was able to secure the password, thereby providing him with complete access to confidential NSA information. After a temporary suspension of his security clearance, the agency made it permanent toward the end of last year. The NSA civilian handed his official resignation last month after informing the FBI of the oversight.
The NSA has also revoked the security clearance of two other individuals connected with the agency due to their involvement in the controversial leakage. The memo also states that one of them is a military member in active duty and the other is an unnamed contractor. They have also been banned from using their official workstations, although their employers maintain discretion over the extent of their accountability.
Edward Snowden is responsible for what is considered the most important information leak in the history of the United States, according to author Daniel Ellsberg. A computer systems administrator by profession, Snowden used to work for the Central Intelligence Agency and the NSA. He started exposing highly confidential agency data on June 2013 to such well-known publications as The Washington Post and The Guardian.
Snowden is currently residing in Russia on a yearlong temporary asylum. The US government regards him as a fugitive from justice and his charges include theft of government property and espionage. The NSA memo was first released through the NBC News website and has since been included by the agency in their report to the Judiciary Committee.
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