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Some Hackers Unknowingly Gathering Intel For the NSA 69

itwbennett writes As reported Wednesday by the news website The Intercept, the U.S. National Security Agency and its intelligence partners are sifting through data stolen by state-sponsored and freelance hackers on a regular basis in search of valuable information. A page from an internal wiki used by the intelligence agencies of the U.S., Canada and the U.K, which was last modified in 2012 and was among the files leaked by Edward Snowden reads: "Hackers are stealing the emails of some of our targets... by collecting the hackers' 'take' we 1) get access to the emails ourselves and 2) get insights into who's being hacked."
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Some Hackers Unknowingly Gathering Intel For the NSA

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  • by Colin Castro ( 2881349 ) on Thursday February 05, 2015 @11:34AM (#48989667)
    For all of these hackers and hacker groups getting arrested by the FBI. The FBI really wants to read Scarlet Johannson's emails not look at her pics.
  • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Thursday February 05, 2015 @11:42AM (#48989739) Journal

    I little ole me does most of what TFA describes UK intelligence doing. OF COURSE you pay attention to open sources like Twitter and blogs.

    TFA is silly in asserting that the government said Anonymous is a threat "but" their own memo says the threat is small COMPARED TO THE THREAT FROM NATION STATES. Duh, China is a bigger threat than Anonymous. That doesn't mean hacktivists aren't a threat.

  • by gmuslera ( 3436 ) on Thursday February 05, 2015 @11:44AM (#48989755) Homepage Journal
    Other world governments that are increasing their internal population surveillance (in some cases, because they suspect NSA intervention in their internal affairs) are also surely giving that collected information to NSA in a silver platter by that same reason.
    • They all do this. It's illegal for them to spy on their own populace, so they have the intelligence agencies of other countries do it, and then "share intel".

      • by phayes ( 202222 )

        But it's only "bad" when the NSA does it (That's what French politicians say when referring to spying by the NSA/DGSE, what German politicians say when referring to spying by the NSA/BND, what Brazilian...).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 05, 2015 @11:48AM (#48989789)

    This story reads like a Monty Python movie credit - "Those responsible for hacking the people who have just been hacked have been hacked."

  • Just using the internet gathers intel for them
  • by Crashmarik ( 635988 ) on Thursday February 05, 2015 @11:54AM (#48989851)


    Shouldn't there be an octopus strangling the globe or maybe a man in black icon for this

  • Letters of Marque (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Meditato ( 1613545 ) on Thursday February 05, 2015 @11:59AM (#48989909)

    How long until the NSA/FBI/DHS/CIA begin issuing Letters of Marque and Reprisal to hackers and (online) pirates, to do the surveillance dirty work for them?

  • Some NSA Stooges Unknowingly Gathering Intel For Hackers

  • by turp182 ( 1020263 ) on Thursday February 05, 2015 @12:25PM (#48990191) Journal

    When you monitor everything, you get everything.

    I'd be more interested in what they aren't/can't monitor. As would evil people, but I'm not evil. You can take my word for it...

  • by teambpsi ( 307527 ) on Thursday February 05, 2015 @01:51PM (#48991381) Homepage

    I'm sure there is a whole set of robot eyes watching for pastebin urls on IRC / Twitter et al

    • by ShaunC ( 203807 )

      There are numerous spiders slurping up the entire public corpus of Pastebin. You can observe this by creating a new public paste. Check it 24, 48, 72 hours later and watch as the view count increments. Their recently added pastes [] list is heavily mined, and who knows who's saving it all. I doubt the "private" pastes are much more secure.

  • the NSA gets to read email that somebody else stole, so they can truthfully (or "truthyfully") say they don't steal email.
  • If you hack the NSA and access THEIR data, you've hit the mother lode.
    • by Sabriel ( 134364 )

      And if they've already hacked you, we're just two automation scripts away from a recursive loop and a lot of full disks. :)

  • Of course, that makes the faulty assumption that it is unquestionably true. The only source is someone that cannot be trusted.

    On the other hand, such unauthorized releases of material, including everything from the Intercept, has only served to cause harm.

    Through their actions, they are indirectly complicit in aiding/abetting groups like ISIS, in addition to directly being complicit in aiding hostile countries like Russia and China. The blood is on all of their hands - nothing short of turning themselves

  • I don't know about hackers, but lately China has done more to help me secure my university than the NSA, FBI, and Homeland Security combined.

    I do network and computer security for a university. In the last couple years we have received a couple alerts from the FBI. The info was fairly old and limited in scope. And, they didn't want us to share the info with those who really needed to have it.

    In the same period, the Chinese government has instituted a program of rigourous scanning [] and vulnerability asses

Stinginess with privileges is kindness in disguise. -- Guide to VAX/VMS Security, Sep. 1984