US Contractor Follows Japanese Example: Leaks Military Secrets Via P2P

from the security-software-anyone? dept

Nearly four years ago, it was reported that a contractor in Japan who had plans for a nuclear powerstation leaked them via a file sharing app on his personal computer. It was never clearly explained why he had those classified work-related materials on his personal computer, but it led to quite a mess, with the government begging people to delete the nuclear secrets, if they found them. You would hope that with that as a guide, other government and military contractors around the world would be more careful. No such luck. Lots of folks have been sending in the news that the details on Marine One, President Obama's helicopter were recently leaked via file sharing software found on the computer of a (you guessed it) government contractor. Apparently no one takes things like basic computer security seriously anymore.


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(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    HennyDad, Mar 2nd, 2009 @ 5:36pm

    File sharing program

    Why do none of these articles say what file sharing program was at fault. I'm guessing LimeWire/Bearshare and the user forgot to limit the sharing directories to their music folders. NBC Nightly News had a similar warning Sunday night about tax returns being stolen via file sharing programs, but again, no details as to the program or how to prevent it from happening.

     

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  2.  
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    James Stevens, Mar 2nd, 2009 @ 5:38pm

    Disgusting...

    What bothers me is that I've seen several news sites spin this story to try and say that P2P is a huge national security threat.

    What these defense contractors need is some IT guys with common sense watching these computers, especially the ones owned by those who can't even protect sensitive data from leaking out from their own computers.

     

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  3.  
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    Tom Sydnor, Mar 2nd, 2009 @ 7:28pm

    Mike Masnick Misses the Point--Again

    Mike, I note that you have, again, failed to discern the critical point about inadvertent. We now have now seen many incidents in which IT specialists for government contractors have inadvertently shared sensitive data as a result of file-sharing programs like LimeWire.

    No one disputes that these specialists were being foolish--after all, one shared both the passwords and router addresses for the Pentagon's secret computer backbone AND the OMB memorandum warning contractors to prohibit all uses of any file-sharing programs. That qualifies as "foolish" under even the most generous definition of the term.

    But the real point is this: If the IT specialist for a top-secret government contractor cannot figure out how to safely install and operate a program like LimeWire, why on earth should this obviously dangerous program be made available to millions of teenagers who, as this example would suggest, will be even less capable of using it safely? --Tom

     

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  4.  
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    Kyros, Mar 2nd, 2009 @ 9:56pm

    Re: Mike Masnick Misses the Point--Again

    "But the real point is this: If the IT specialist for a top-secret government contractor cannot figure out how to safely install and operate a program like LimeWire, why on earth should this obviously dangerous program be made available to millions of teenagers"

    I hope I'm missing your sarcasm. I truly do. But just in case, you spent your first two paragraphs showing these IT people are totally foolish and idiotic. You then suggest that because they can't teach their end users to install p2p programs (or limit such installs) that such a program should be, what, banned from the internet?

    Obviously, teens all over the world will switch from using limewire to download music and instead use limewire to download bomb schematics and nuclear secrets?

    You don't actually have any clue what you are talking about, do you? Or do you just really have a dry sense of humor?

     

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  5.  
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    Mike (profile), Mar 3rd, 2009 @ 12:04am

    Re: Re: Mike Masnick Misses the Point--Again

    I hope I'm missing your sarcasm. I truly do.

    There's no sarcasm from Tom. He works for an organization that is paid a ton of money by the entertainment companies to publish ridiculous personal attacks on folks like Larry Lessig and then to make outlandish claims about why file sharing should be banned. Pay no attention to him.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2009 @ 12:32am

    Apparently no one takes things like basic computer security seriously anymore.

    Nope!

    I work for a MAJOR telco and we are instructed to use our user name and that the password is the same as the user ID, I asked them how this is secure and they just tell me, Just leave it as it is. So no, security is not Pri 1

     

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  7.  
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    Paul`, Mar 3rd, 2009 @ 3:03am

    Re: Mike Masnick Misses the Point--Again

    So, is that a fake name or do you really make yourself look this blitheringly stupid for money?

    Really just a form of prostitute, aren't you?

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2009 @ 6:48am

    Re: Mike Masnick Misses the Point--Again

    The fact that some people are complete idiots when it comes to P2P software does not mean that the software is an obviously dangerous program. It simply means someone is an idiot and either needs their clearance revoked or some serious retraining. Your assertations to the point that the programs are dangerous also shows exactly how big of an idiot you are as well. Here's a news flash for you, LIFE IS DANGEROUS, adapt or die.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Stuart, Mar 3rd, 2009 @ 7:02am

    Re: Mike Masnick Misses the Point--Again

    You are so right. While we are at it lets ban Hairdryers, Cars, Aircraft, Lighters, Matches, Plastic Bags, Knives, Forks, Saws, Cranes, Bulldozers, Children, Shoes, White-Out, Pins, Pens, Dogs, Cats, Gerbils, Computers, TVs, CDs, DVD's, Phones, Fatty Foods, Sweets, Salty Foods, and anything else that stupid people can wreck their or others lives with.

    Idiot.

     

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  10.  
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    pferland (profile), Mar 3rd, 2009 @ 8:52am

    Re: Re: Mike Masnick Misses the Point--Again

    You forgot my all-time favorite, Expo Markers

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2009 @ 11:13am

    @Kyros

    well, with the RIAA laying off people left and right we all can just hope to see you disappear with the rest of them.
    I am sure you will go away once the paychecks run out.

     

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