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Author Topic: NSA cutting 90 percent of its system administrators  (Read 3087 times)

LaughingBear

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NSA cutting 90 percent of its system administrators
« on: August 12, 2013, 05:46:55 pm »

From FierceCIO

1. NSA cutting 90 percent of its system administrators
By Derek C. Slater
Any good IT security pro knows that people are the weakest link.

The NSA seems to be taking that wisdom to heart. NSA director Keith Alexander, speaking at an ICCS 2013 panel in New York on Thursday, said the agency plans to reduce its corps of system administrators by 90 percent.

The point is to curtail the number of people--think former contract sysadmin Edward Snowden--with access to sensitive information. Alexander said automation is a better approach for many of the tasks previously handled by these employees.

Alexander's comments were first reported by Reuters, which states that the agency employs about 1,000 system admins. Picking up the baton next, InformationWeek relayed alternative approaches suggested by various security experts, including limiting sysadmin access to only that information necessary to do the job.

Just how much data is flowing through the NSA's surveillance program anyway? ZDNet blogger Chris Duckett notes a document on the agency website stating the following:

Internet carries about 1,826 petabytes of data each day
NSA 'touches' 29 petabytes of that traffic, or 1.6 percent
Only 0.025 percent of that 29 petabytes is actually "selected for review".
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knobster

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Re: NSA cutting 90 percent of its system administrators
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2013, 06:30:36 am »

Just replace everyone at NSA.  Put Skynet in charge.  You did program in Asimov's three laws right?
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socalserf

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Re: NSA cutting 90 percent of its system administrators
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2013, 06:46:19 am »

I'm just happy that they are handling it tactfully and aren't going to chance making any
disgruntled former employees.
At least they won`t have to worry about that.
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Bear

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Re: NSA cutting 90 percent of its system administrators
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2013, 01:36:17 pm »

I'm just happy that they are handling it tactfully and aren't going to chance making any
disgruntled former employees.
At least they won`t have to worry about that.

<rimshot>   :headbang:

Bear
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Silver

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Re: NSA cutting 90 percent of its system administrators
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2013, 02:56:33 pm »

Bruce Schneier has a good take on this.

Quote
Does anyone know a sysadmin anywhere who believes it's possible to automate 90% of his job? Or who thinks any such automation will actually improve security?

(Alexander is) stuck. Computerized systems require trusted people to administer them. And any agency with all that computing power is going to need thousands of sysadmins. Some of them are going to be whistleblowers.

Leaking secret information is the civil disobedience of our age. Alexander has to get used to it.
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MamaLiberty

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Re: NSA cutting 90 percent of its system administrators
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2013, 03:28:55 pm »

Is this going to be a free show, or do we have to buy tickets? WAIT just a damn minute... we already bought tickets... damned expensive ones.

But did they think all those fired IT guys would just suck it up and go away quietly?

Did they plan to round up and shoot them all? Might not some of them have an interesting tale to tell?

This could get very entertaining. Loved the comments at the link, Silver.
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Re: NSA cutting 90 percent of its system administrators
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2013, 07:25:27 pm »

Just replace everyone at NSA.  Put Skynet in charge.  You did program in Asimov's three laws right?

Wasn't it Asimov who also showed us how well the three laws worked out?  VIKI and Robo Communism.
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straightshooter

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Re: NSA cutting 90 percent of its system administrators
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2018, 09:20:59 am »

>Internet carries about 1,826 petabytes of data each day
>NSA 'touches' 29 petabytes of that traffic, or 1.6 percent
>Only 0.025 percent of that 29 petabytes is actually "selected for review".

 I feel so much better now. I was worried that they might be interested in what I buy at WalHell, or what kind of porn I like...
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