Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Comments
NSA Cuts 90% Of System Admin Jobs
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
Cara Latham
50%
50%
Cara Latham,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/12/2013 | 1:27:38 PM
re: NSA Cuts 90% Of System Admin Jobs
The move to cut program admins seems like a panicky, knee-jerk reaction. Also, what about the increased likelihood that the automated systems would be targeted by hackers?
Laurianne
50%
50%
Laurianne,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/12/2013 | 3:15:16 PM
re: NSA Cuts 90% Of System Admin Jobs
As Alan Kessler says in this article, it only takes one. The lone disgruntled employee capable of leaking information has been an IT problem for decades. I am interested to see if these employees' roles change, as opposed to the slots disappearing.
MyW0r1d
50%
50%
MyW0r1d,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/12/2013 | 3:29:01 PM
re: NSA Cuts 90% Of System Admin Jobs
Typical Fed.Gov. senior management reaction in an attempt to deflect attention from the real cause, failure in the hiring process compounded by poor personnel management (maybe Snowden just needed someone to listen seriously to his concerns to mitigate his actions). It will be interesting to know if those individuals are reassigned other duties or layed off, but whatever the case if you can even consider doing without 90% of your staff you have been almost criminally overstaffing. Overdependency on automation will almost certainly create more service outage as human discretion to intervene is removed (the human desire and success to find ways to circumvent automation is proven).
Thomas Claburn
50%
50%
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Ninja
8/12/2013 | 5:01:40 PM
re: NSA Cuts 90% Of System Admin Jobs
Edward Snowden's actions, whatever else they may be, amounted to a security audit that found NSA IT security policies lacking. Getting rid of IT people won't make those policies more robust.
Lorna Garey
50%
50%
Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Ninja
8/12/2013 | 5:04:47 PM
re: NSA Cuts 90% Of System Admin Jobs
Barn door, meet horse. On the plus side, Top Secret clearances are expensive to issue and maintain. Funneling some of that money to automation should help.
Michael Endler
50%
50%
Michael Endler,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/12/2013 | 8:52:33 PM
re: NSA Cuts 90% Of System Admin Jobs
Agree with Cara-- seems like a sort of desperate reaction. That said, when the leaks hit, I was surprised that this level of sensitive data was available to a contractor such as Snowden in the first place. Career government people? Sure. But that a contractor could see the whole scope and scale of the surveillance program-- not the kind of system I would have guessed. Upon learning that someone of Snowden's status had access to the content, I was doubly surprised, given the wildly divisive nature of the project, that substantial leaks hadn't been come out earlier.
Cara Latham
50%
50%
Cara Latham,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/13/2013 | 12:33:40 PM
re: NSA Cuts 90% Of System Admin Jobs
I was also surprised that substantial leaks hadn't come out earlier. But I don't think that many people would take all the risks Snowden has (just look at his ordeal with trying to get temporary asylum), knowing that they could be slammed with an espionage charge and that they would have a difficult time seeking asylum in another country.
SmailB826
50%
50%
SmailB826,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/13/2013 | 12:49:36 AM
re: NSA Cuts 90% Of System Admin Jobs
If you can operate with 1/10 the network admins that you had yesterday what does this say about your management of your operation?

Seriously, any place that can fire 900 out of 1000 admins and still function is about to be a major mess or was an expensive daycare for IT people.

Can our government do ANYTHING right? They don't even know how to downsize credibly...
D. Henschen
50%
50%
D. Henschen,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/13/2013 | 3:30:28 AM
re: NSA Cuts 90% Of System Admin Jobs
You read my mind, here, Smail, but I tend to agree with MyW0r1d that it's a senior-level, knee-jerk reaction that's more likely going to lead to administrative gaps, delays in service and problems. Even government agencies wouldn't be so overstaffed that they could survive such drastic cuts without impacts -- would they? At the very least the surviving 10% would revolt
cbabcock
50%
50%
cbabcock,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/14/2013 | 12:38:03 AM
re: NSA Cuts 90% Of System Admin Jobs
There's no time element to the NSA director's statement. He was going in Monday morning and firing 900 system admins, or he was establishing the goal, to be executed over several years, of reducing the number. If the latter, than Keith Alexander was expressing the secret wish of every CIO from Maine to Mexico. Move toward automated IT operations, reduce the number of people dedicated to keeping machines running.We have a fragment of reporting on a jaded, politicized administrator caught in the public spotlight. I don't know which he meant. Charlie Babcock
bkosh
50%
50%
bkosh,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/14/2013 | 9:28:37 PM
re: NSA Cuts 90% Of System Admin Jobs
I agree with Charlie, there seemed to be something off about this, either the guy is A: crazy or B: undone. Probably the latter. The NSA is obviously doing most everything wrong security wise while the FBI showed at Black Hat they are doing most everything right. Perhaps inter-agency cooperation?
NickyHelmkamp
50%
50%
NickyHelmkamp,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/3/2013 | 8:32:57 PM
re: NSA Cuts 90% Of System Admin Jobs
InterWorx included this article in their Monthly Round Up for August: http://www.interworx.com/commu.... Thanks for the awesome content Thomas!


Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
I Smell a RAT! New Cybersecurity Threats for the Crypto Industry
David Trepp, Partner, IT Assurance with accounting and advisory firm BPM LLP,  7/9/2021
News
Attacks on Kaseya Servers Led to Ransomware in Less Than 2 Hours
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  7/7/2021
Commentary
It's in the Game (but It Shouldn't Be)
Tal Memran, Cybersecurity Expert, CYE,  7/9/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Enterprise Cybersecurity Plans in a Post-Pandemic World
Download the Enterprise Cybersecurity Plans in a Post-Pandemic World report to understand how security leaders are maintaining pace with pandemic-related challenges, and where there is room for improvement.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-21742
PUBLISHED: 2021-09-25
There is an information leak vulnerability in the message service app of a ZTE mobile phone. Due to improper parameter settings, attackers could use this vulnerability to obtain some sensitive information of users by accessing specific pages.
CVE-2020-20508
PUBLISHED: 2021-09-24
Shopkit v2.7 contains a reflective cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the /account/register component, which allows attackers to hijack user credentials via a crafted payload in the E-Mail text field.
CVE-2020-20514
PUBLISHED: 2021-09-24
A Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) in Maccms v10 via admin.php/admin/admin/del/ids/<id>.html allows authenticated attackers to delete all users.
CVE-2016-6555
PUBLISHED: 2021-09-24
OpenNMS version 18.0.1 and prior are vulnerable to a stored XSS issue due to insufficient filtering of SNMP trap supplied data. By creating a malicious SNMP trap, an attacker can store an XSS payload which will trigger when a user of the web UI views the events list page. This issue was fixed in ver...
CVE-2016-6556
PUBLISHED: 2021-09-24
OpenNMS version 18.0.1 and prior are vulnerable to a stored XSS issue due to insufficient filtering of SNMP agent supplied data. By creating a malicious SNMP 'sysName' or 'sysContact' response, an attacker can store an XSS payload which will trigger when a user of the web UI views the data. This iss...