Classified U.S. data on sale in Afghan bazaar


PDA






AndyC
April 13, 2006, 12:07 PM
Local workers at U.S. military bases in Afghanistan have stolen knives and watches, but also flash drives containing secret military documents, which have then shown up in the country's street markets, according to a report published this week in the Los Angeles Times (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-disks10apr10,0,5854905,full.story).

The electronic documents marked with the "Secret" designation include a list of suspected militants targeted for "kill or capture" and memos discussing limiting the role of problematic Afghan government officials, the article stated. Some of the documents found by the reporter on stolen flash drives blame Pakistan--marketed as an ally in the U.S. War on Terror--for its inability to stop supply lines to guerrilla fighters in Afghanistan and for failing to stop some members of the military from helping militants conduct cross-border attacks on U.S. forces.

Used hard drives have always been a treasure trove. Three years ago, graduates students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology bought 158 drives on eBay and found that almost half had personal information on them, including more than 5,000 credit card numbers.

The U.S. military has a past of failing to secure electronic data on computers and storage devices as well. Three years ago, a security firm publicized a study of Internet-accessible government computers, showing that many sensitive documents still resided on the systems. Security experts also suspect that targeted Trojan-horse programs, aimed at gathering data from U.S. government systems, have infiltrated many systems. Medical records and other sensitive personal information on government employees and military workers have also been exposed.

Source: SecurityFocus (http://www.securityfocus.com/brief/184)

If you enjoyed reading about "Classified U.S. data on sale in Afghan bazaar" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
PATH
April 13, 2006, 01:20 PM
Is anyone really surprised. Hey, maybe it is the purposeful dropping of disinformation. Given our vaunted intelligence services it is probably a Walking Mongolian Cluster_________________ (insert expletive of choice here).:D

Third_Rail
April 13, 2006, 02:25 PM
I usually torch my old drives - either physically with thermite, or electronically with a datascrubber. The gov't doesn't do this why?

bg
April 13, 2006, 02:38 PM
Once again one of our ForeFathers has it spot on..
"Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead."- Ben Franklin.

Manedwolf
April 13, 2006, 06:09 PM
This is just really sad. People read Tom Clancy novels and think that there's vast secret bases and 007 secret headquarters and all kinds of devices and weapons we can't imagine, all handled by absolute professionals...

...and then the reality is that it's someone who loses a cheap, regular flashdrive from their laptop.

real_name
April 13, 2006, 06:24 PM
I usually torch my old drives - either physically with thermite, or electronically with a datascrubber. The gov't doesn't do this why?

They aren't necessarily old, discarded drives.
The story I heard on the radio today concerned a flash drive that had been stolen by a cleaner (or similar) and sold to a 'hole in the wall' computer store.
A reporter in Afghanistan bought it and others like it for $40 each.
This particular one contained the names and addresses (and details about their immediate family) of a large quantity of Afghani nationals who are spying on the behalf of US forces.
these items are being stolen, sold for a few dollars, and then sold again without anyone realising what the information contained pertains to.
The danger lies in the information being transferred to the Taliban forces.

If you enjoyed reading about "Classified U.S. data on sale in Afghan bazaar" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!