This case is not the same as the Department of Veteran Affairs loss of records or the Department of Agricultures security failures. In this case, a contracting consultant conducted a penetration test with out getting formal approval. He expoited the FBI's vulnerabilities to gain elevated privledges.
Joseph Thomas Colon, 28, is a former employee of BAE Systems. His pentest allowed him to obtain the passwords of 38,000 employees, including that of FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III. According to Colon, the FBI field office in Springfield, Ill., he was attached to gave him approval.
However, every professional pentester and/or ethical hackers knows that you have to get formal approval from an authority.
Colon's lawyer said in a court filing that his client was hired to work on the FBI's “Trilogy” computer system but became frustrated over “bureaucratic” obstacles, such as obtaining written authorization from the FBI's Washington headquarters for “routine” matters such as adding a printer or moving a new computer onto the system.
As a result, Mr. Colon will likely serve about 18 months in prison. :(…
Pentesting and ethical hacking tools and techniques must be dealt with responsibly. The bureacracies that might allow pentesting must be respected at all costs. The first thing in Pentesting and ethical hacking that is taught is to ALWAYs, ALWAYS, ALWAYS get writen consent to procede from the owners of the system.