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USB with NATO Sensitive Data Found in Swedish Library

February 5th, 2008 by Agent Smith (2) Default

A USB stick containing classified NATO information was found in a library in Sweden. According to the Registrar, the stick contained sensitive details on NATO’s ISAF peace-keeping force in Afghanistan and an intelligence report on the attempted assassination targeting Lebanon’s defense minister and the murder of Sri Lanka’s foreign minister.

Given the reaction of Colonel Bengt Sandström of the Swedish Military Intelligence described by the Registrar, it is most likely that the USB stick in question was in no way encrypted or protected by any endpoint security solution.

This is not the first time such critical information is misplaced. The Dutch army, as shown in the same article, lost classified data in similar circumstances not once, but twice in the same year, 2006. Also, the US military lost several flash drives containing secret information. The devices were later discovered as they were being sold carelessly in an Afghani market.

I’d like to point out that precedents don’t seem to impose harsher measures when it comes to classified military data. After several such incidents having occured, one would expect army decision makers to upgrade their security policies and have the latest endpoint security software implemented.

2 Responses to “USB with NATO Sensitive Data Found in Swedish Library”

  1. Uncle B Says:

    Military should usr Ubuntu, or other Linux OS and have complete control over the code in their machines at all times! It is well known that popular American commercial software is unsafe and leaks can be foisted on any computer or computer system using them by even high school students, and “Hackers” pages abound on the web for these systems – Linux systems offer the open concept, where individual machine changes rendering them unhackable. encoding whole systems is possible and for sensitive military material, the machines must be altered in such a way as to render sloppy and careless data handling fruitless unless codes are known, altered machines available! The idea of top military information being typed into a “Word” document is laughable, and the Military using unscrambled computers is fun, but ludicrous!

  2. Agent Smith Says:

    Uncle B, you are right, Linux is a lot safer. But given the number of past similar breaches, the existing endpoint security technology, the in-place security policies and budgets, I still cannot understand how military networks and devices are still so grossly exposed to attacks. The learning process would take a while and cost a lot if they decided to switch to Linux every computer they own. In the mean time, why not secure the machines and devices you’re already using? i’m sure they have enough experts to tell them how to do it.

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