Intel officials’ emails posted after hack of cybersecurity group

NBC News, By Michael Isikoff, September 17, 2011

The names and email addresses of hundreds of U.S. intelligence officials — including some senior officials in the Obama Administration — have been posted on an anti-secrecy website after computer hackers allegedly swiped them from the internal membership list of a prestigious national security organization.  The apparent cyberattack on the Intelligence and National Security Alliance, or INSA, is the latest example of the ability of hackers to penetrate the computer systems of government agencies and private companies — including those that pride themselves on their savvy and expertise in cybersecurity. INSA — a nonprofit that bills itself as the country’s “premier intelligence and national security organization” and whose members include senior U.S. intelligence officials and government contractors — on Monday published a major report (PDF) warning of an urgent need for the country to beef up its cyberdefenses.  Within a couple of days, in apparent retaliation, INSA’s “secure” computer system was hacked and the entire 3,000-person membership posted on the website under the heading “INSA Nest of Official and Corporate Spies,” INSA President Ellen McCarthy confirmed. “I guess I feel like anybody else this happens to — like I was violated,” McCarthy, a former top Pentagon intelligence official, told NBC News. Cryptome was an early forerunner of WikiLeaks, having been in operation since 1996 and openly advertising its willingness to publish national security secrets. The group states on its home page that it “welcomes documents for publication that are prohibited by governments worldwide.”

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