Friday, December 9, 2022

CIA Fires Contractors for Hacking Vending Machine, Stealing Food

CIA Fires Contractors for Hacking Vending Machine, Stealing Food

Several CIA contractors have been caught and ultimately fired for stealing $3,300 worth of junk food from one of the agency’s vending machines.

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CIA Contractors Fired for Exploiting a Loophole in Vending Machine

According to a Buzzfeed report, the thefts occurred between fall 2012 and May 2013. This was confirmed by the CIA’s official documentation detailing the whole situation.

These documents are heavily modified and redacted. There are no names, or sources and methods behind the investigation — per usual for an agency like the CIA.

CIA SealDespite this, it does mention that a now-former contractor was able to mess with one the agency’s vending machines in order to get free food from it.

The scheme was discovered by an employee, “thanks to his knowledge of computer networks.”

It involved unplugging a cable connecting the machines to an electronic payment system called FreedomPay, and then using “unfunded FreedomPay cards” to buy the snacks at no cost.

Additionally, the employee who first figured this out admitted to successfully testing the vending hack, before sharing the technique with several colleagues.

After he and everyone else involved were found out, they quickly admitted to the thefts. They were subsequently interrogated, fired and escorted out of the building.

WikiLeaks Brings More Bad News

On a more serious note, it seems the CIA has its hands full once more with a much more legitimate threat  as a new batch of leaks pertaining to the agency have been released by WikiLeaks.

The newest batch of leaks describe a classified project known as “Brutal Kangaroo.” The documents reveal sensitive information about this project, including its purpose and how it generally works.

They explain the CIA’s alleged ability to infiltrate closed networks, or private networks closed to the public.

The CIA can apparently do this without direct access to the network as well, by infecting some internet-connected computer within the network, which is referred to as the primary host. It can then spread the the CIA’s reach to other computers in the private network via thumbdrives that have connected to the primary host.

The leaks about BrutalKangaroo are the most recent in a series of leaks that WikiLeaks has codenamed the “Vault 7” leaks.

Do you think the contractors’ vending machine hack was unethical? Let’s hear your thoughts below.

Images Via WikiLeaks, Slate

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