Intelligence: Laptop Leaks

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December3, 2006: A Japanese Air Force lieutenant is under investigation for allowing classified logistical data, concerning operations in Iraq, to become freely available on the Internet. The lieutenant, recently returned from Iraq, used his own laptop computer at work. He copied the files, containing data on the movement of military supplies, to his laptop, took it back to Japan with him, and then ran a file sharing program (Winny, popular in Japan), which allowed files on his computer to be shared with other Winny users. In the midst of all this, the lieutenants laptop picked up a virus, which allowed the American military files to be "shared" on the Winny network. Someone soon found them, followed by journalists getting wind of it, which led to other Japanese Air Force officers getting all the details of the wayward lieutenants sins.

Troops in Iraq are not supposed to use your own laptop for official business, unless they have permission. You're not supposed to take military files with you when you leave Iraq. Finally, you are definitely not supposed to let these files get out onto the Internet. Another career ruined, and a valuable lesson learned. In the past six months, the Japanese armed forces has punished 47 of its personnel for similar mishaps. It's happened in other nations as well. Many troops now go off to war, taking their laptops with them, along with unanticipated security risks.

 


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