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Belesarius

Cheaters sometimes prosper. Welp... mebbe not.

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My understanding, and someone better versed in intelligence operations would have to elaborate, is that blackmail is just to get your toe in the door.

 

So, you find out that Engineer X has a top-secret clearance and has access to, say, the fluid dynamics simulations and math that allow you to design diverterless supersonic inlets.

 

You also find out that he's cheating on his wife.

 

So you send the guy a rather alarming message saying that you'll tell his wife unless he... does something else small, but illegal.  Shoplifts from a designer clothing store, say.  No need to give away that you're a foreign intelligence agency; he might go running to his nation's intelligence agency, and that would be bad.  You want the sap to think it's more painless and easy to comply with your seemingly petty criminal demands than it is to face his wife.

 

So you follow him as he shoplifts the thing that you didn't really need him to steal, and you get photos of him doing that.  Now you have even more dirt on the guy, and even more control.

 

Soon you can actually get him doing something useful, like sending sensitive documents your way.

 

Unbeknownst to him, at least before it's too late, Engineer X is being handled by extremely cynical professionals who will manipulate his sense of shame until they can get him to commit treason.  These are men with ice in their veins and a very effective functional understanding of human psychology.  Engineer X could probably go to his nation's intelligence agency at any time and make things a hell of a lot easier on himself, but his handlers will break him down until he never even considers doing that.

 

That's what you're worried about.

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My understanding, and someone better versed in intelligence operations would have to elaborate, is that blackmail is just to get your toe in the door.

 

So, you find out that Engineer X has a top-secret clearance and has access to, say, the fluid dynamics simulations and math that allow you to design diverterless supersonic inlets.

 

You also find out that he's cheating on his wife.

 

So you send the guy a rather alarming message saying that you'll tell his wife unless he... does something else small, but illegal.  Shoplifts from a designer clothing store, say.  No need to give away that you're a foreign intelligence agency; he might go running to his nation's intelligence agency, and that would be bad.  You want the sap to think it's more painless and easy to comply with your seemingly petty criminal demands than it is to face his wife.

 

So you follow him as he shoplifts the thing that you didn't really need him to steal, and you get photos of him doing that.  Now you have even more dirt on the guy, and even more control.

 

Soon you can actually get him doing something useful, like sending sensitive documents your way.

 

Unbeknownst to him, at least before it's too late, Engineer X is being handled by extremely cynical professionals who will manipulate his sense of shame until they can get him to commit treason.  These are men with ice in their veins and a very effective functional understanding of human psychology.  Engineer X could probably go to his nation's intelligence agency at any time and make things a hell of a lot easier on himself, but his handlers will break him down until he never even considers doing that.

 

That's what you're worried about.

 

This is why engineers who cannot feel shame, like myself, are considered very valuable.

 

 

I find it interesting that a lot of the security response to this incident is blackmail related.  Is blackmail really that prevelent already that this is an issue?

 

Security, you say?

 

Bad. Nobody was watching. No security. Only thing was segmented network. You could use Pass1234 from the internet to VPN to root on all servers.

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Government IT is an awful place, not really because the people there are necessarily unprofessional, but because there is no funding. They can't attract necessary talent, they can't get the overhauls in necessary infrastructure, and problems successively compound themselves.Unless something changes and a huge funding influx comes in with changes to American culture, RIP the US because it can't keep up in cyberwarfare. Not because it doesn't have the technological capability or the knowledge base, but because members of the government itself are ideologically opposed to funding or supporting it.

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We can make much more money in the private sector. 

 

The government cannot keep talent if the pay them those lousy GS or military salaries. Relying on guys who rotate through their enlistments/commissions every few years and then get poached by the private sector is not a strategy that will ever work. 

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This is why engineers who cannot feel shame, like myself, are considered very valuable.

 

Going by the smell from the electronics building, IEEE-type engineers without shame are a pretty common bunch

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We can make much more money in the private sector. 

 

The government cannot keep talent if the pay them those lousy GS or military salaries. Relying on guys who rotate through their enlistments/commissions every few years and then get poached by the private sector is not a strategy that will ever work. 

 

Oh no, I don't disagree and this is part of the issue as well, combined with the usual political attitudes of of those who work in IT makes attracting and keeping the necessary talent close to impossible. Private sector poaching is an overall larger issue with the entirety of public sector work, but that's what happens when the public sector is underfunded. That's why I think a large cultural change is required as well, the problem isn't just within how the government is structured but just how Americans even think or perceive.

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This gets better and better.

 

Money quote:

 

 

What I found was that there are over 770,000 women seeking women in the database, out of 5.5 million women overall, and none of them are hosts.

That’s 14 percent, much higher than the estimated 1.5 percent of lesbians (and .9 percent of bisexuals) in the U.S. population. These may not be active accounts,

but they don’t appear to be Ashley Madison engagers either. If there are real women behind these accounts, we know they aren’t getting bombarded with bot messages.

Bots avoid women. And comments in the code reveal that “woman seeking woman” profiles aren’t shown to straight men. It would seem that the only members of Ashley Madison

who aren’t inundated by spam and randos are women who seek trysts with other women or couples.

 

There are also about 345,000 men seeking men in the database, and we know from the patch I mentioned earlier that developers were working hard to prevent the engagers from

harassing these guys too. It’s possible, as one person put it to me in email, that Ashley Madison was actually a pretty decent hookup site for gay people—

but that was mostly because the system was designed to ignore them.

 

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