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tekisui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-09-10 09:31 PM
Original message
Military Bans Disks, Threatens Courts-Martial to Stop New Leaks
Source: Wired

Its too late to stop WikiLeaks from publishing thousands more classified documents, nabbed from the Pentagons secret network. But the U.S. military is telling its troops to stop using CDs, DVDs, thumb drives and every other form of removable media or risk a court martial.

Maj. Gen. Richard Webber, commander of Air Force Network Operations, issued the Dec. 3 Cyber Control Order obtained by Danger Room which directs airmen to immediately cease use of removable media on all systems, servers, and stand alone machines residing on SIPRNET, the Defense Departments secret network. Similar directives have gone out to the militarys other branches.


Unauthorized data transfers routinely occur on classified networks using removable media and are a method the insider threat uses to exploit classified information. To mitigate the activity, all Air Force organizations must immediately suspend all SIPRNET data transfer activities on removable media, the order adds.

Its one of a number of moves the Defense Department is making to prevent further disclosures of secret information in the wake of the WikiLeaks document dumps. Pfc. Bradley Manning says he downloaded hundreds of thousands of files from SIPRNET to a CD marked Lady Gaga before giving the files to WikiLeaks.

To stop that from happening again, an August internal review suggested that the Pentagon disable all classified computers ability to write to removable media. About 60 percent of military machines are now connected to a Host Based Security System, which looks for anomalous behavior. And now theres this disk-banning order.

One military source who works on these networks says it will make the job harder; classified computers are often disconnected from the network, or are in low-bandwidth areas. A DVD or a thumb drive is often the easiest way to get information from one machine to the next. They were asking us to build homes before, the source says. Now theyre taking away our hammers.

more: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/12/military-bans-d...
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NuclearDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-09-10 09:33 PM
Response to Original message
1. They've told us since 2008 that we can't use flash drives...
But I guess now it's just an offense they can court martial you with.
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Bigmack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-09-10 09:37 PM
Response to Original message
2. Man... this modern military sure is different...
When my outfit came back from Vietnam, the shakedown - very thorough - produced enough weapons and explosives to start a Latin American Revolution.

Now the shakedowns are looking for disks and memory sticks.

I really feel like a dinosaur.

Even the best shakedown can't find it all. Go to it, guys!
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-09-10 09:47 PM
Response to Original message
3. My advice as an IT Consultant: go VDI
No disks, no local memory, just a terminal and a Windows/Linux/UNIX session.

Also, doesn't matter which dumb terminal - your username gets you your desktop.
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Alamuti Lotus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-09-10 09:49 PM
Response to Original message
4. And why not? The animals have already left, better shut that barn door.............
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-09-10 10:10 PM
Response to Original message
5. This is what I don't get
When I was doing that work, you absolutely, under no circumstances, brought electronic devices or media of any kind into a secure area. We didn't have cell phones then but you couldn't have brought them into the SCIF. You couldn't bring a floppy disc in unless you had courier orders authorizing you to do it. You couldn't even bring a CALCULATOR into the SCIF. Nor could you bring a 35mm slide into the SCIF.

Now you can bring thumb drives, CDs and cell phones in and out? Who the fuck thought that was a good idea?

We had a guy in Field Station Berlin named James Hall. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Hall_III ) He did something similar to what Bradley Manning did, and got 40 years in Leavenworth for his troubles.
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NuclearDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-09-10 10:13 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. They've actually got cell phone detectors at some of the SCIFs here now
So it's virtually impossible to slip that stuff in.
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Pavulon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-09-10 10:13 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. I lost a perfectly good casio watch to that rule..
Edited on Thu Dec-09-10 10:34 PM by Pavulon
it was taken seriously and enforced some places 7 years ago. And yeah that is insane you could put a machine with a cd burner on a secure net.

edit:god i'm getting that was 15 years ago.
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-09-10 10:21 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. Next thing I don't get
Is it not possible to put in the RFQ for a batch of PCs that will wind up in SCIFs, "all units purchased under this contract will have epoxy squirted into the USB ports"? They DO still make printers and scanners with parallel ports on them, you know, and keyboards and mice that use the PS/2 ports are easy to get.
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Pavulon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-09-10 10:27 PM
Response to Reply #10
16. Since it was Army and not some TLA I would bet
that the technical side was a bit weak. Not an insult, the terminal I used was shittily configured (nt3.5 almost forgot how bad it really was) and unstable in its day and I would assume the same now. Manning was in the field not in northern virginia which probably made what he did easier.

As another poster noted thin clients / software like citrix or VDI would cover that as well.

Biggest issue is no automation looking for one user id running a bulk copy or semi random reads.
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-10-10 10:58 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. How technical do you need to be...
to seal the USB ports with epoxy, which is what I suggested?

There is a serious problem with decompartmentalization of information--letting Army analysts in the field have access to EVERYTHING--but that's a different issue.

This is the thing: It wouldn't have taken getting rid of compartmented information--say, only letting NSA have NSA-type stuff, NRO have NRO-type stuff and so on--to prevent 9/11. It would have taken a president who felt like coming to work in the morning to prevent 9/11, and we didn't have that in August 2001.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-09-10 10:18 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. I read somewhere around here in the last few days that it
was Petraeus and a desire for more intelligence sharing that was behind allowing this. One could say that he got what he wanted I suppose.
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Pavulon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-09-10 10:19 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Irony post 9.11 bush plan
that consolidated the agencies and forced sharing of information. It still boggles the mind manning had such wide access and no tripwire was in place for what he did.
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-09-10 10:22 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. No shit
And NOW, fine citizens, you know why we compartmented information back in the Cold War.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-09-10 10:53 PM
Response to Reply #9
18. Fads come and go.
Edited on Thu Dec-09-10 10:54 PM by bemildred
There is a persistent delusion in certain management circles that the failure to use intelligence (in the sense of data, information) intelligently is structural, that bigger piles of data or more fancy ways to "fuse data seamlessly" etc. are better. This is a mistake. More is not the same as better. This is not to say that all data collection or data fusion is a mistake, just that there is no automatic benefit derived, and done badly it can slow things down, make things worse.

In this particular instance I think they were just trying things, hoping for miracles.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-09-10 10:25 PM
Response to Reply #5
13. That was the Navy up to 2004
At least where my hubby worked.

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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-09-10 10:23 PM
Response to Original message
12. Well this is a legal order
that said, boys and girls this will be fun.
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tekisui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-09-10 10:25 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. And who knows what (if anything) has made it out in the interim.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-09-10 10:26 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Trust me, this is not normal
for the military....

My hubby had a WTF happened to access and control in Baghdad? He worked with pretty secured stuff while in the Navy...
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Pavulon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-09-10 10:32 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. Malice is the issue. People always took gun camera footage (on vhs)
which was technically restricted (not ts), stealing equipment was of course common, (i think i have a compass that has mils ) but treason is just strange to me.
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pokerfan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-10-10 11:45 PM
Response to Original message
20. Good idea
Thumb drives are more convenient and have more capacity.







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