Edward Snowden, the man behind the PRISM leaks, has been the topic of many discussions around the tech world. As the wraps are lifted off Snowden’s past, it has been revealed that he was trained in ethical hacking while he was working with NSA. Apparently, Snowden used the same skills to snoop away NSA’s documents related to PRISM.
Ethical hacking is usually meant to empower individuals so that they can look for vulnerabilities within an organization and devise solutions for them. During his NSA training, Snowden took a course for ‘certified ethical hackers.’ The course equips individuals with a number of tools and skills needed for ethical hacking.
When Snowden later gathered documents from the spy agency, it is very probable that he used the same set of skills and tools. And since he was a part of the agency himself, it became particularly easy for him to access a boatload of sensitive documents.
According to a computer security expert, James A. Lewis, “If he’s looking inside U.S. government networks for foreign intrusions, he might have very broad access. The hacker got into the storeroom.”
At the same time, it is important to note that had Snowden not being equipped with the right kind of hacking skills, he would’ve been detected by NSA during his data-gathering mission and may never have been able to divulge the critically significant documents that he revealed later.