Sunday, 19 November 2017


In the wake of learning of the huge cache of Pentagon intelligence compromised when it was uploaded to a commercial cloud computing network with one contractor having the oversight to change the classification-level (privacy-settings) of an unconscionably vast amount of documents, another, developing story of how those National Security Agency software and system exploits were intercepted and put to work not just as a backdoor access platforms at will but now at the disposal of the criminally-minded, ransomware and a potent means to disable utilities and infrastructure seemed even more resonant.
It’s unclear whether all those Pentagon files were migrated to the cloud out of convenience sake or what, but a policy change and architectural limitation prompted the change at the NSA that led to these devious secrets to be let out. Aware how pernicious these techniques could be if they weren’t just available to the good guys, the NSA compartmentalized them under the category of ‘exceptionally controlled information,’ not according the files a digital existence, reference material check-out and return to be stored in locked safes overnight. With the profusion of cyber warfare and expanding techniques of keeping tabs on others, the number of strongboxes and vaults needed to store all this printed data grew as well. Eventually, the NSA building where these files were kept began to groan under the weight of the all the safes and structural collapse seemed eminent. Protocols were relaxed and locked, non-segregated filing cabinets were allowed and shortly afterwards, those offensive cyber weapons were not clandestine any longer.