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How secure is the National Security Agency?
ZD Net ^ | June 12, 2013 | Tom Foremski

Posted on 06/12/2013 6:43:39 PM PDT by Leo Carpathian

Summary: We know that there's no such thing as a completely secure computer system. Is the NSA the nation's largest security risk of them all?

Many are concerned about the National Security Agency (NSA) collection of data on US companies and individuals and the very real possibility that it has a way of directly accessing the servers of the world's largest computing platforms: Google, Facebook, Microsoft, etc.

It's certainly a situation that deserves attention and concern. But what's missing in this discussion is this: how secure is the NSA's spying system?

If a foreign entity wanted to spy on US companies or individuals, would it try to tackle the problem directly by targeting the specific company or individual in its electronic spying attempts? It might, but that's a lot of work for an uncertain payoff.

A much more efficient approach would be to hack into a surveillance system that already has access to the information. Far better to hack into the NSA spying system at Google, or at Facebook, or at Microsoft (if such an NSA system exists, of course).

In early 2010 Google discovered that Chinese hackers had gotten into its systems. Who did it call to help deal with this problem? The NSA. [Google to enlist NSA to help it ward off cyberattacks.]

This puzzled me tremendously, why would Google, with its enormous brain trust of the world's top computer experts call on the NSA? Why didn't Google have the means, the expertise, to deal with this problem directly and solely?

It makes sense if it was the NSA's spying system that got hacked within Google.

The search giant knows its own systems and how they can be protected but it does't know the NSA's computer systems and how they protect themselves. It makes perfect sense to call in the NSA to help plug this hole because it's a hole created for the NSA which the NSA might have left vulnerable in some way.

The NSA also employs the world's top computer experts but it's not infallible. Everyone knows that there's no such thing as a completely secure system. The greater danger in the NSA's spying activities is not from the NSA itself, but from the many nefarious foreign national, and international criminal enterprises, that find a way to exploit the existing spy systems so thoroughly crafted, and so thoroughly extensive, that have been built by the NSA.

The danger from allowing the NSA to have deep access into the data systems of US companies is that that very system creates an enormous vulnerability that would not have existed. Hack into part of the NSA spy network and you have access to a mass of private data that would be near impossible to collect in any other way.

It's ironic that the NSA's activities to improve the security of the US have created the nation's largest security risk of them all.


TOPICS: Computers/Internet
KEYWORDS: google; hackers; nationalsecurity; nsa; nsasecurity; security

1 posted on 06/12/2013 6:43:39 PM PDT by Leo Carpathian
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To: Leo Carpathian

What percentage of the computers at the national data center do ya suppose were built in China?


2 posted on 06/12/2013 6:45:41 PM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Leo Carpathian

I know it’s not secure from Obama and other supposedly elected would-be tyrants.


3 posted on 06/12/2013 6:46:51 PM PDT by Defiant (The answer to Francis Scott Key's question is: No, it does not. That land is no more.)
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To: Leo Carpathian

Clapper...another convenient stooge


4 posted on 06/12/2013 6:46:54 PM PDT by Doogle (USAF.68-73..8th TFW Ubon Thailand..never store a threat you should have eliminated))
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To: Leo Carpathian

Guess what folks?

Places like NSA are full of spies and are targeted by spies.

It always will be.


5 posted on 06/12/2013 6:48:14 PM PDT by mylife (Ted Cruz understands the law, and he does not fear the unlawful.)
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To: Leo Carpathian
The NSA is merely collating data for ChiComs.
6 posted on 06/12/2013 6:48:30 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("Forget it, Jake. It's Eric Holder's people.")
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To: Leo Carpathian

7 posted on 06/12/2013 6:48:35 PM PDT by JoeProBono (Mille vocibus imago valet;-{)
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To: Defiant

It’s only secure if you don’t hire a high-school drop out, or a community college drop-out, or a Army drop-out.


8 posted on 06/12/2013 6:48:53 PM PDT by pepsionice
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To: Leo Carpathian
Hasan, and the Tsarnaev brothers, and
everyone named Mohammed, love the NSA system.

No word yet if the Moslem Brotherhood has to visit
or if their remote terminal was already installed.

9 posted on 06/12/2013 6:49:58 PM PDT by Diogenesis
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Pretty much. We have the world’s dumbest government.


10 posted on 06/12/2013 6:50:20 PM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Leo Carpathian
This puzzled me tremendously, why would Google, with its enormous brain trust of the world's top computer experts call on the NSA? Why didn't Google have the means, the expertise, to deal with this problem directly and solely?

Perhaps Goggle was phishing NSA.

11 posted on 06/12/2013 7:02:57 PM PDT by mylife (Ted Cruz understands the law, and he does not fear the unlawful.)
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To: Leo Carpathian

I love bacon and China just bought Smithfield. I’m pretty sure NSA records had something to do with that.


12 posted on 06/12/2013 7:14:55 PM PDT by DannyTN
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To: Leo Carpathian

I love bacon and China just bought Smithfield. I’m pretty sure NSA records had something to do with that.


13 posted on 06/12/2013 7:14:55 PM PDT by DannyTN
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To: DannyTN
China just bought Smithfield.

Me thinks China is setting up for the final conflict with Islam.

Dude, Porkageddon is just a whiff away!

14 posted on 06/12/2013 7:19:51 PM PDT by mylife (Ted Cruz understands the law, and he does not fear the unlawful.)
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To: mylife

lol Once again we are letting China walk away with needed military supplies!


15 posted on 06/12/2013 7:24:17 PM PDT by DannyTN
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To: DannyTN

It could happen.

16 posted on 06/12/2013 7:25:14 PM PDT by mylife (Ted Cruz understands the law, and he does not fear the unlawful.)
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To: Leo Carpathian
I think they do a better job than most - though that's not saying much when you look at how negligently sloppy most government agencies are. And therein lies the crux, they are still a government agency, prone to all the bureaucratic BS and stupidity that implies. I would no-more trust a government agency with my personal info than I would the pimple-faced kid down at the 7-eleven with my credit card.

I know we have to turn over personal info for taxes etc. Doesn't mean I like it. Used to be I was mostly concerned with just accidental stupid actions compromising my information. Now with hussein and his minions in there, and the rampant scandals and obviously illegal behavior... I'd have to say my concerns are now about 50-50 accidental compromise or intentional misuse. The intentional misuse side is continually rising...

17 posted on 06/12/2013 7:52:13 PM PDT by ThunderSleeps (Stop obarma now! Stop the hussein - insane agenda!)
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To: mylife; Leo Carpathian

NSA undoubtedly has a lot of great people in it.

Problems I see:

* Unconstitutional requests being made of them.
* Possible politicization in the agency like IRS and rest of gov’t.
* Scope way too big.
* Agency way too big.
* Strategies and tactics over the top
* It’s a DOD agency, it should operate in the military realm.
* “Financial oligarchy” is the root of almost all current government problems, e.g., spending, debt, overreach/control/power
* Difficult to rationalize NSA existence after Cold War.
* “Financial oligarchy” undoubtedly the root of “terrorism” as a partial replacement for the now “deconstructed” USSR as the “villain”.

Etc.

IMHO.


18 posted on 06/12/2013 7:52:23 PM PDT by PieterCasparzen (We have to fix things ourselves)
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To: PieterCasparzen
Possible politicization in the agency like IRS and rest of gov’t.

HUGE problem. Obama has Gov stacked from top to bottom with sycophants.

19 posted on 06/12/2013 7:57:45 PM PDT by mylife (Ted Cruz understands the law, and he does not fear the unlawful.)
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To: Leo Carpathian
There are some stiff laws on notifying people when a data security breach occurs. These laws have been extended from financial institutions to most businesses that have highly important personal data.

I keep wondering how many TurboTax E-filings were intercepted by the NSA and if TurboTax has notified people that sensitive financial data has been intercepted during a data breach?

I think that the class action law suits should be filed with a big net and include the federal government as an additional party. My feeling is that if enough corporations get hauled into court for a variety of infractions (failure to provide notice under data security breach laws, etc.) that the pressure on the government to reign in NSA will increase astronomically.

If nothing else, there is going to be a huge foreign backlash and this may be the death knell of cloud computing and cloud storage.

20 posted on 06/12/2013 8:53:05 PM PDT by Robert357 (D.Rather "Hoist with his own petard!" www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1223916/posts)
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To: Robert357; Leo Carpathian
There are some stiff laws on notifying people when a data security breach occurs. These laws have been extended from financial institutions to most businesses that have highly important personal data.

Yes, how many of us will be beneficiaries of a massive class action lawsuit, and get a free coupon for something as compensation? (only sort of joking here)

21 posted on 06/12/2013 8:55:48 PM PDT by thecodont
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To: mylife

All the top spots are people from the same think tanks, universities, contractors, NGOs, etc.

Which, IMHO, are not so much Dem or Repub, but they are ALL globalist / new world order / financial oligarchy, whatever label we want to put on it.

All the same, all the time. Some that are real “right” will leave gov’t temporarily while a Dem is in and their job is switched out to a comparable globalist how has a “left face”.

Look at a guy like Frank Carlucci, speaking of Intelligence.

His resume goes way back to being a CIA operative way back. Harvard, State Dept, roomed with Rumsfeld at Harvard.

All the resumes look the same.

It’s not so much sycophants, but people who are tied into the Wall Street/big business/foundation/etc., circuit.


22 posted on 06/12/2013 8:56:20 PM PDT by PieterCasparzen (We have to fix things ourselves)
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To: PieterCasparzen

You broke the code. NOW, what shall we do?


23 posted on 06/12/2013 9:18:35 PM PDT by logitech (It is time.)
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To: logitech

Understand the truth and spread the truth.


24 posted on 06/12/2013 11:10:48 PM PDT by PieterCasparzen (We have to fix things ourselves)
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