Contaminated Flash Drive Wreaks Havoc on Pentagon PCs

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News Posted: Thu, Aug 26 2010 10:46 AM
Like something straight out of a Hollywood action movie, foreign spies managed to swipe sensitive information from the Pentagon by plugging a dirty flash drive into a U.S. military laptop, according to reports. This actually happened some two years ago, but is just now coming to light now that it's been de-classified by Uncle Sam.

"It was a network administrator's worst fear: a rogue program operating silently, poised to deliver operational plans into the hands of an unknown adversary," Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn wrote in an article for Foreign Affairs. "This ... was the most significant breach of U.S. military computers ever and it served as an important wake-up call."

Flash grenade...get it?

While the incident itself is no longer classified, no one is willing to divulge what military secrets might have been stolen from "the most significant breach" ever. However, it was enough for the Defense Department to warrant the ban of all small, high-tech, removable storage devices, including USB thumb drives and media cards, which was only just partially lifted earlier this year.

In the article. Lynn goes on to warn that this remains an ongoing threat.

"A dozen determined computer programmers can, if they find a vulnerability to exploit, threaten the United States' global logistics network, steal its operational plans, blind its intelligence capabilities, or hinder its ability to deliver weapons on target," Lynn wrote.

Sleep tight, America.
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Inspector replied on Thu, Aug 26 2010 2:38 PM

ya... sleep tight O.o

LOL Flash grenade. By the way i want one of those flash drive up in the corner of this article! :D

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Just imagine all the possible security breaches that happen that we are unaware of for obvious reasons. I have just gotten to the point where I don't even worry about it.

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Yeah...we used to have the death penalty for traitors and spies! Now we just give them a govment position:P Arrogance and Ideology is their motivation, Apathy their weapon!

Then people wonder how things like Wikileaks can do the things they do. When the history of a generation is erased, then the next are bound to repeat the same mistakes!

IE: Julius and Ethel Rosenberg

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acarzt replied on Fri, Aug 27 2010 1:20 AM

The vast majority of Gov't employees are not allowed to use Flash drives currently.

And at the building I work in, there is a room that you have to check all your stuff into a locker(including your cell phone) before you can enter. And you have to have clearance to begin with. No visitors or guests allowed.

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Brian replied on Fri, Aug 27 2010 9:39 AM


Think you can get me a Summer 2011 College Internship there? I'm a CIS, Computer Forensics Student.

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acarzt replied on Fri, Aug 27 2010 12:53 PM

If you live in San Antonio, and have any certs, I might be able to get you a job where I work.

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