Tags: Cyber Security | Homeland Security | NSA/Surveillance | intelligence | leaks | us spys | demoralized

NYT: NSA Spy Units Forced to 'Start Over' After Leaks, Hacks

Image: NYT: NSA Spy Units Forced to 'Start Over' After Leaks, Hacks
(Jim Urquhart/Reuters)

Sunday, 12 Nov 2017 01:27 PM

The reeling U.S. National Security Agency, shaken by leaks, hacks, and security breaches, has ostensibly been forced to start over in building up its spy and intelligence efforts worldwide, The New York Times chronicled in an in-depth report Sunday.

"These leaks have been incredibly damaging to our intelligence and cyber capabilities,” former CIA Director Leon Panetta told the Times. "The fundamental purpose of intelligence is to be able to effectively penetrate our adversaries in order to gather vital intelligence. By its very nature, that only works if secrecy is maintained and our codes are protected.

"Every time it happens, you essentially have to start over."

The serial leak of the NSA's "cyber weapons has damaged morale, slowed intelligence
operations and resulted in hacking attacks on businesses and civilians worldwide," the Times reported.

"We're obviously dealing with people who have operational security knowledge," Jake Williams, founder of Rendition Infosec, told the Times. "They have the whole law enforcement system and intelligence system after them. And they haven’t been caught."

A security leak of the NSA's hacking tools, methods, and sources, by the mysterious group known as Shadow Brokers, outed the NSA's Tailored Access Operations (T.A.O.) and has led to experts leaving the NSA for higher paying jobs in the private sector.

"It's a disaster on multiple levels," Williams, a former T.A.O. employee, told the Times. "It's embarrassing that the people responsible for this have not been brought to justice."

Industry experts say the T.A.O. leaks are worse than the secrets revealed by Edward Snowden, because the source(s) have yet to be found, leading to a lot of NSA finger pointing and suspicion.

"Snowden killed morale, but at least we knew who he was," a T.A.O. insider told the Times. "Now you have a situation where the agency is questioning people who have been 100 percent mission-oriented, telling them they're liars."

Perhaps most discouraging, the Times reported, there is "no end in sight."

"How much longer are the releases going to come?" an ex-T.A.O. employed told the Times. "The agency doesn't know how to stop it — or even what 'it' is."

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The reeling U.S. National Security Agency, shaken by leaks, hacks, and security breaches, has ostensibly been forced to start over in building up its spy and intelligence efforts worldwide, The New York Times chronicled in an in-depth report Sunday."These leaks have been...
intelligence, leaks, us spys, demoralized, start from zero
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2017-27-12
Sunday, 12 Nov 2017 01:27 PM
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