Military Bans Removable Devices in Wake of WikiLeaks

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In the wake of the WikiLeaks scandal, the U.S. military has announced a ban on all removable media. No CDs, DVDs, thumb drives ... you get the picture.


According to Wired, service members who don't stop using the devices will risk a court-martial.


Writer Noah Shachtman points to a Cyber Control Order issued by the Air Force as illustrative of similar orders recently issued in other branches of the military.


It reads, in part:

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 also acknowledges the ban will make some jobs more difficult, simply because classified computers are often standalone machines or they are in "low bandwidth areas," Shachtman says. The move is one of several the military has taken and/or is considering in light of the WikiLeaks disclosures.


And it's exactly what the military should continue to do, both because WikiLeaks is nearly impossible to take down, and because other "leak" sites will undoubtedly rise up to take its place should efforts to shutter it succeed. An Associated Press story published in The Washington Post Friday reports that a former WikiLeaks team member is working to launch a rival site, Openleaks, soon.


From the story:

[F]ormer WikiLeaks spokesman Daniel Domscheit-Berg says the Openleaks site will work as an outlet for anonymous sources. He says other ex-WikiLeaks workers will also be part of the project.

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Dec 10, 2010 1:10 PM Thom VanHorn Thom VanHorn  says:

This ban of removable media in the military will only do so much. One of the biggest issues with the WikiLeaks situation and Bradley Manning, is that he simply had too much access to sensitive government information. By securing the sensitive information in the database and ensuring that employees only have access to the information necessary to do their jobs, access privileges are properly assigned and sensitive information doesn't get into the wrong hands. As a second step, once the location of sensitive information is identified,  organizations should monitor access to ensure it isnt being abused or misused, putting the most scrutiny on the most highly privileged users.

Thom VanHorn, Vice President, Global Marketing, Application Security, Inc.

www.appsecinc.com | www.teamSHATTER.com

Dec 14, 2010 10:32 AM Mohammed Sadiq Mohammed Sadiq  says:

I would say it is loop hole in the monitoring by the actual governing bodies. Rather than fixing the gap in overcoming such situations all agencies are taking a short cut approach. This will definitely result in another lap or bringing up another technology to overcome such counteracts. Though, any information withheld by any country in favor or against, as long is classified some strict regulation should be implemented to counteract such cases till the validity of the information expires (if applicable). In contrary to such situation will also raise the level of corruption. This subject is also directly related to each individual of the nations as these are the people who form any government except the kingship countries. In either case they would definitely like to know the facts and any information that is directly related to them should not be filtered out and such sites in my opinion are good sharing area. Definitely it is a complex but not impossible to overcome.


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