Former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden used login credentials and passwords provided unwittingly by colleagues at a spy base in Hawaii to access some of the classified material he leaked to the media, sources said.
A handful of agency employees who gave their login details to Snowden were identified, questioned and removed from their assignments, said a source close to several U.S. government investigations into the damage caused by the leaks.
Snowden may have persuaded between 20 and 25 fellow workers at the NSA regional operations center in Hawaii to give him their logins and passwords by telling them they were needed for him to do his job as a computer systems administrator, a second source said.
Officials with the NSA and the Office of Director of National Intelligence declined to comment due to a criminal investigation related to Snowden.
People familiar with efforts to assess the damage to U.S. intelligence caused by Snowden’s leaks have said assessments are proceeding slowly because Snowden succeeded in obscuring some electronic traces of how he accessed NSA records.
The sources did not know if the NSA employees who were removed from their assignments were given other duties or fired.
While the U.S. government now believes it has a good idea of all the data to which Snowden could have accessed, investigators are not positive which and how much of that data Snowden actually downloaded, the sources said.
Now that anonymous officials disseminated these claims through Reuters, let’s blindly assume they’re true http://t.co/4fkpPGQWUw
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) November 8, 2013