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NSA: ‘Sheer luck’ needed to find useful info in sea of surveillance data

photo: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

photo: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

RT reports:

The NSA didn’t know it was already sitting on a “goldmine” of data on one of its targets until one of its analysts discovered it by “sheer luck,” according to an internal newsletter entry leaked by Edward Snowden.

The article, dated March 23, 2011, was written by a signals development analyst in SIDtoday, an NSA in-house newsletter. He explains how he discovered the contact and personal information for over 10,000 people, as well as some 900 account login details, after “a ton of hard work,” according to reports from The Intercept and teleSUR.

“By sheer luck (and a ton of hard work), I discovered an important new access to an existing target and am working with TAO to leverage a new mission capability,” the analyst wrote to colleagues. TAO refers to Tailored Access Operations, an NSA hacking team which had collected the 900 usernames and passcodes.

The “existing target” was Petróleos de Venezuela, a Venezuelan state oil company also referred to as PDVSA.

Matthew Green, a Johns Hopkins Information Security Institute professor, told The Intercept it was “interesting” that the analyst used the word “discovered” because it means that either the NSA “didn’t realize” it had been collecting PDVSA’s information or that, perhaps, there had been a bureaucratic miscommunication on the subject.

“They’re capturing so much information from their cable taps that even the NSA analysts don’t know what they’ve got,” Green said. […]


  1. NSA hacked PDVSA a Venezuela state oil company, not for strategic or military reasons but for Financial Sabotage reasons. Venezuela, since Chavez is a Socialist State, resistant to IMF Mega Loans or Foreign ( Wall St.) investment/takeovers/ asset stripping. So it is a de facto enemy of America’s control of Latin America. TTTP is intended to solve this problem. Also a benefit of Saudi Arabia’s trashing of the Oil Price and Venezuela`s Economy.

    • anthony hall says

      when I post a comment to one of your stories, I write in upper and lower case, but when the comment is posted the part that is critical of America appears in tiny print.are your newsletter/emails being hacked or is my inbox being hacked. somebody is really U.S.Paranoid. Date: Sat, 21 Nov 2015 07:15:48 +0000 To:

    • you’re importing junk code from somewhere that is being rendered that way on you browser. We can correct it here this time, but you’ll need to evaluate what you’re doing.

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