back to article Spooks BUSTED: 27,000 profiles reveal new intel ops, home addresses

A trio of transparency boffins have revealed personal details of 27,000 intelligence officers they say are working on surveillance programs. The resulting dump not only names the officers, but in some cases tells you where they live based on data sourced from LinkedIn profiles and other easy-to-access sources. M.C McGrath, …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    <Corporal Jones>

    "They don't like it up them, Mr. Mainwaring !!"

    1. Anonymous Blowhard

      Re: <Corporal Jones>

      <U-boat Captain>Your name will also go on the list! What is it?</U-boat Captain>

      <Captain Mainwaring>Don't tell him Pike!</Captain Mainwaring>

    2. NoneSuch Silver badge

      Dear 27,000 Gov Workers

      If you've done nothing wrong, why are you worried?

      Isn't that the logic you tell us?

  2. PleebSmash


    What about FRYLOCK and MEATWAD?

    1. DropBear


      That's nothing - did you see the guy also knows how to use PUTTY...?!? We're DOOMED! DOOMED, I tell you!

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

        Re: Dropbear Re: MASTERSHAKE?

        ".....knows how to use PUTTY....." Yes, but did you also note he didn't know the right case - it should be PuTTY, which suggests to me that - like a lot of the CVs I see - the author simply cut'n'pasted a list of interesting apps to boost his chances of being picked up by employment agency search engines. I get some CVs with the most ridiculous lists of skills imaginable, e.g., one that had simply cut'n'pasted the complete alphabetical list of programming languages from Wikipedia, including long extant languages!

        1. John H Woods Silver badge

          Re: Dropbear MASTERSHAKE?

          "... including long extant languages!" -- Matt Bryant

          I know quite a few long extant languages and they're still quite useful, certainly much more so than long extinct languages.

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

            Re: John H Woods Re: Dropbear MASTERSHAKE?

            "....long extinct languages." Well, I used to call old languages (and old systems) "extinct" but then I kept running into idiots that were still running business-critical applications with examples of them! Indeed, I had one fun trip to a retirement home in the run-up to Y2K to conduct a job interview of one of the few people in the UK still coherent enough to understand a banking system written in the original version of FORTRAN, one of those supposedly extinct languages. I had a bet with a guy from IBM at the time (who was searching through the IBM retiree database for COBOL programmers) that we'd be doing the same in 2038, only we'd be the ones in the retirement homes! So now I play safe and just suggest they are extant and should be made extinct (the old stuff and the management insisting they still be used).

    2. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad


      Also well trained in LOGORRHEA and BLABBERMOUTH.

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Harry the Bastard

    don't tell him pike!

    [words, just words]

  5. Omniaural

    eye of the beholder

    Am I getting old or does MC McGrath look like he is 14 years-old?

    Kudos for embarrassing the "intelligence" industry though.

    1. Paul 25

      Re: eye of the beholder

      He's a Theil Fellow, so college/uni age -

      Kudos to him. I can't imagine myself having done something like that at his age.

    2. Amphibious RawCod

      Re: eye of the beholder

      I came to the sad conclusion that I am getting old - not only because MC looks 14 to me too, but because he calls himself MC and therefore must be about 14. I was annoyed at how much effort it took me to get over myself (and his very minor lisp) and watch the presentation. I am glad I made the effort though, because that was thoroughly enjoyable.

  6. Twilight Turtle


    ...If their methodology consists of searching for anyone who has "OSINT" as a tagged skill on LinkedIn, I imagine it's going to contain a great many things other than spooks.

  7. Afernie

    Sounds like some may be Walts

    There are an assortment of characters who hang around pubs in Herefordshire cadging drinks and relating stories about their time serving with 'them', something I expect irritates and amuses the actual SAS in no small measure. Has the project considered that some of these apparently sloppy spooks might be the NSA/GCHQ Walter Mitty equivalents?

    1. omnicent
      Thumb Up

      Re: Sounds like some may be Walts

      Great film

  8. omnicent
  9. Tom 64

    The name's Rod, Lightening Rod

    I wonder how long it will be before his phone is tapped, his internet data all collected etc.

    1. g e

      Re: The name's Rod, Lightening Rod

      Already done by default, surely.

      Just needs a buffer search

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Utter Stupidity

    to have all this data available for those who would surely use it for bad things.

    I have to wonder if giving away all the names of project could land the poster in hot water with their bosses?

    So what does the Mi5/MI6/GCHQ linkedIn map look like?

    We'd all like to know wouldn't we readers?

    Yes I do have a LinkedIn account. I only use it for checking CV's so it is now filled with rubbish but LinkedIn still knows that I once worked for [redacted] Bank and get updates on the people I used to work with.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Utter Stupidity

      Probably a good job they didn't look at FourSquare as well. Probably:

      CIA_Superspy : checked into CIA

      CIA_Superspy: checked into coffee shop

      CIA_Superspy: checked into undercover surveillance


  11. Alister
    Black Helicopters

    The ICSWatch database, offline at the time of writing, is compiled from LinkedIn searchers for industry terms including OSINT, SIGNIT, and TSSCI.

    The Register has inquired about the cause of the outage.

    Answers on a postcard, please...

    1. Omgwtfbbqtime

      Seems to be a distinct lack of HumINT.


  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yeah, that's why I don't have data on LinkedIn

    The kind of work I do requires discretion, but I had to create a template reply to stop people from getting me to join their network on LinkedIn.

    You can find my contact details on there (once removed from me, btw, but that's where you get to start), but I don't add anyone I work with to the profile. I found giving away that sort of data too dangerous, and now someone has proven me right. Sigh.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yeah, that's why I don't have data on LinkedIn

      Social media & business related sites like LinkedIn are not the problem.. People are the problem. In "that" line of work you should be fully briefed in on SIGINT, OPSEC & EEFI . Potentially sensitive or codename information is posted by the users themselves. Unless they are running DIP or other counterintel strategies then their SyO should give them a thrashing.

      And if you try discretely informing these online blabbers via a BEADWINDOW style pm or two, then they go freakin' postal on you and report it up the chain.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Yeah, that's why I don't have data on LinkedIn

        In "that" line of work you should be fully briefed in on SIGINT, OPSEC & EEFI

        There's no such thing as enough briefing, but there are more jobs that require discretion than just intelligence and government. Counselling, medical, legal..

  13. Sir Runcible Spoon


    "McGrath says the irony of blundering spooks listing OPSEC as a skill is not lost on him."

    Considering some of those listed appear to be disillusioned with the whole shebang you can't help but think some of those posting project names are doing so deliberately.

    I was once asked in an interview why they couldn't find me on Facebook etc. and thought it was suspicious that I didn't have an account. Considering what I do for a living I explained that providing that much detail is asking for my personal equipment to be compromised and along with it potentially all their internal security designs. He got the point in the end but I was dismayed at having to point this simple fact out at all!

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      Re: Sir Runcible Spoonfed Re: Sir

      ".....I was once asked in an interview why they couldn't find me on Facebook etc. and thought it was suspicious...." Oh, that's just HR drones for you, they assume everyone is as equally and blindly keen to throw all their personal data and secrets onto the Web as they are. I have worked with many that are amazed that I don't have a Faecesbook profile - "but you work in IT" they say, to which I reply "because I work in IT!"

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon

        Re: Sir Runcible Spoonfed Sir

        "Oh, that's just HR drones for you"

        If only that were true. This was the guy in charge of the banks' security consultants.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

          Re: Sir Runcible Spoonfed Sir

          "....This was the guy in charge of the banks' security consultants." LOL, ouch! Did he study at Oxford, per chance?

  14. SImon Hobson Silver badge

    You mean they aren't all in Sales for Universal Exports ?

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Gasp - you read *books*?

      Thumbs up :)

  15. Captain Kephart

    The UK version here

    There is a UK version called "SC or DV Cleared Professionals" here:

    Madness to put such material out there - privtae group or note.

    Unless it's a honeypot of course ...


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