[ISN] Japanese military shamed by USB device

From: InfoSec News <alerts_at_private>
Date: Wed, 2 Jul 2008 03:07:44 -0500 (CDT)

By Austin Modine
The Register
1st July 2008

Like ball point pens, cigarette lighters, and the occasional key, flash 
memory devices have a nearly unstoppable need to be set free upon the 
world at large.

The result of this seemingly natural law is generally little more than 
irksome at home, but when combined with the cosmic force of sensitive 
data misplacement that is a government body, things tend to get a little 

For proof, we travel to Japan a report from the Mainichi Daily News.

The paper tells us that Japan's military has confessed to losing a USB 
device that contained troop deployment maps for a joint Japan-US 
military exercise. Well, actually, the USB drive was stolen, recovered, 
then accidentally thrown away.

In February of last year, a 33-year-old captain of the Ground 
Self-Defense Force (GSDF) reportedly stole the memory stick along with 
2,000 yen in cash and a 10,000 yen airline coupon.

The GSDF previously announced a one month suspension for the apprehended 
officer for stealing the cash and coupon, but never mentioned the USB 
drive to the public.

According to Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba, the force withheld the 
information because they didn't want people on the internet searching 
for the data.

Shortly after, a lieutenant colonel borrowed the USB device and lent it 
to a sergeant first class. The sergeant left it on his desk, where it 
was accidentally tossed.

All three were reprimanded according to the GSDF. The data in question 
is considered sensitive, but not touchy enough to pursue criminal 
penalties just for losing it.

This is reminiscent of the case last year when three petty officers of 
the Maritime Self-Defense FOrce were implicated for sending each other 
specifications on the Aegis missile systems along with a "large 
collection of obscene images."

The data reportedly included details on the number of targets the Aegis 
missile system can track and formulas for its interceptor system. That 
loss also ticked off the US military, as Aegis is an American system and 
extremely important to the US Navy. 

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Received on Wed Jul 02 2008 - 01:07:44 PDT

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