Security Through Begging

from the even-better-than-security-by-obscurity dept

Last summer, the surprising news came out that Japanese nuclear secrets leaked out, after a contractor was allowed to connect his personal virus-infested computer to the network at a nuclear power plant. The contractor had a file sharing app on his laptop as well, and suddenly nuclear secrets were available to plenty of kids just trying to download the latest hit single. It's only taken about nine months for the government to come up with its suggestion on how to prevent future leaks of this nature: begging all Japanese citizens not to use file sharing systems -- so that the next time this happens, there won't be anyone on the network to download such documents. Beyond the fact that this is unlikely to have any effect (at all) on file sharing in Japan, it has nothing to do with the actual security breach. It wasn't the use of a file sharing system that was to blame here, but the security setup that allows an outside contractor to hook up his personal computer to the power plant's network without doing any kind of security check whatsoever to see if (a) his computer has malware or (b) his computer has file sharing software -- while leaving top secret documents available for his computer to access. If this is how government officials react to such leaks (taking forever and completely missing the root cause of the problem, while suggesting a solution that is impossible to implement), it's almost amazing that such leaks didn't happen sooner.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Andrew Schmitt, 16 Mar 2006 @ 6:08pm

    Huawei Isn't Stupid

    This is one of many reasons why when you visit Huawei in China (and increasingly, other companies), you are told that no electronic devices can be brought inside, with the exception of customer meeting areas. If you are a tech, and must enter a lab for debug, your laptop ports are literally taped shut with security tape that indicates removal and re-attachment. This is of course, only after you have obtained the 5 signatures required to get your laptop through the door.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.