March 8, 2017 / by emptywheel


CIA Did Not Have Multi-Factor Authentication Controls for All Users as Recently as August 2016

I know I keep harping on the disclosures about the intelligence community’s security practices disclosed in the House Intelligence Report on Edward Snowden. But they go some way to explain why people keep walking out of spy agencies with those agencies’ hacking tools.

Over three years after the Snowden leaks, multiple Intelligence Inspector General Reports show, agencies still hadn’t plugged holes identified in response to Snowden’s leaks. When the CIA did an audit mandated by 2015’s CISA bill, for example, it revealed that “CIA has not yet implemented multi-factor authentication controls such as a physical token for general or privileged users of the Agency’s enterprise or mission systems.”

As I understand it, this had something to do with multi-factor use on devices used by multiple persons. So it may not have been as bad as this sounds (and — again, as I understand it, the problem has since been fixed).

Nevertheless, the CIA is whining about how evil Wikileaks is for publishing documents that (per Wikileaks, anyway) CIA stored with inadequate protection.

The American public should be deeply troubled by any Wikileaks disclosure designed to damage the Intelligence Community’s ability to protect America against terrorists and other adversaries. Such disclosures not only jeopardize US personnel and operations, but also equip our adversaries with tools and information to do us harm.

Sorry. I mean, Americans can be pissed that its premier intelligence agency got pwned.

But Americans should also be pissed that CIA is storing powerful weapons in a way such that they can easily be leaked. We wouldn’t excuse this with CIA’s anthrax stash. We should not give the Agency a pass here.

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