Ramblings & ephemera

Japanese nuclear secrets revealed on P2P network

From Mike’s “That’s Not A New Hit Song You Just Downloaded — It’s Japan’s Nuclear Secrets” (techdirt: 23 June 2005):

While IT managers may not see the importance of security software for themselves, you would think they would be a little more careful with things like interns and contractors. Not so, apparently. Over in Japan, a lot of people are not happy after discovering that a lot of classified technical data on nuclear power plants was leaked onto the internet by a contractor using a computer with a file sharing app that was apparently left open to sharing everything on the machine. First off, what kind of nuclear plant contractor is putting a file sharing app on his work laptop? Also, the article notes that the laptop was infested with viruses, but later seems to blame the file sharing app rather than the viruses — so it’s not entirely clear what the viruses have to do with this story. Update: Another article on this story notes that it was the virus that made the material available via the file sharing app. It also notes that the guy was using his personal computer — and somehow this was allowed. It also details the information leaked, including inspection data, photographs and names of inspectors, as well as where they stayed when they did the inspections. No matter what, you have to wonder why the guy was allowed to use his personal computer or to use any computer for this data that hadn’t been checked first for viruses or other vulnerabilities.

From Mike’s “Security Through Begging” (techdirt: 16 March 2006):

Last summer, the surprising news came out that Japanese nuclear secrets leaked out, after a contractor was allowed to connect his personal virus-infested computer to the network at a nuclear power plant. The contractor had a file sharing app on his laptop as well, and suddenly nuclear secrets were available to plenty of kids just trying to download the latest hit single. It’s only taken about nine months for the government to come up with its suggestion on how to prevent future leaks of this nature: begging all Japanese citizens not to use file sharing systems — so that the next time this happens, there won’t be anyone on the network to download such documents.

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