US Security: NSA Hacks. DHS Spams!

Recent reports point out that the United States National Security Agency will get back at any hacker trying to mess up their systems. Also, it is a known fact that they hack their way into different communication networks to wiretap – they’re just monitoring any possible terrorist conversation. Now, these are just security measures, and though the second is violating privacy, they can’t be called something bad.

However, things are different when it comes to the Department of Homeland Security. The people in their IT department seem to be lacking some skill. As the Register informs, a botched up attempt for one subscriber to change the e-mail address that he was using to receive messages caused a storm in the DHS mailing list, yesterday.
What happened is that instead of sending the message just to the administrators, he clicked on the wrong button. Unfortunately, that button was labeled “reply to all”, and as you’ve probably figured out by now, all the people subscribed to that particular report got his request. A lot of messages continued afterwards, all being sent to the full list of subscribers via what was supposed to be a DHS report service.
Is it normal for people in charge of a country’s security to be this sloppy? A moderated mailing system would have made such a mess virtually impossible, but it seems that they never cared about this. Users that don’t care about security are something we’ve all gotten used to, but to see that even such a great organization doesn’t give a damn about their mailing system is somewhat disturbing.
This also led to the disclosure of the e-mail addresses of the members in the list, as the Register pointed out. I doubt that anyone with malicious intentions was amongst those people, but one could have exploited this in a malicious way. Some problems pop up, just because small matters are not taken into consideration!

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