House Hacking Suspects Could Read Every Email Dozens Of Congressmen Sent And Received
By Luke Rosiak – 03/13/2017
Congressional IT staffers who are the subject of a criminal investigation into misusing their positions had full access to members’ “correspondence, emails, confidential files,” and there was almost no tracking of what they did, a former House technology worker said.
Imran Awan bullied central IT to bend the rules for him so there wouldn’t be a paper trail about the unusually high permissions he was requesting. And their actions were not logged, so members have no way of knowing what information they may have taken, the central IT employee said.
Awan ran technology for multiple House Democrats, and soon four of his relatives–including brothers Abid and Jamal–appeared on the payroll of dozens of other members, collecting $4 million in taxpayer funds since 2010.
U.S. Capitol Police named him and his relatives as subjects of a criminal probe on Feb. 2, and banned them from the complex’s computer networks. But members of Congress for whom they worked have downplayed their access or publicly ignored the issue.
“They had access to EVERYTHING. Correspondence, emails, confidential files – if it was stored on the Member system, they had access to it,” the former House Information Resources (HIR) technology worker with first-hand knowledge of Imran’s privileges told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Technology employees who work for members must initially get authority from HIR, a component of the House’s chief administrative officer, which maintains campus-wide technology systems.
“There were some things – like access to the House email system that were totally controlled by the technicians at HIR. In order for certain permissions to be granted, a form was required to ensure that there was a paper trail for the requested changes. Imran was constantly complaining that he had to go through this process and trying to get people to process his access requests without the proper forms. Some of the permissions he wanted would give him total access to the Members’ stuff.”
“IT staff at HIR can be tracked for every keystroke they make,” the worker said. But by comparison, “when these guys were granted access to the Member’s computer systems there is no oversight or tracking of what they may be doing on the Member’s system. For example they could make a copy of anything on the Member’s computer system to a thumb drive or have it sent to a private server they had set up and no one would know.”
That raises questions about why members are so quick to brush off the seriousness of the investigation.
Read more at: THE DAILY CALLER
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