US Military Bans Removable Media Again

US military has officially solidified its reputation as a flake by banning the use of all removable media to prevent WikiLeaks sequel.US Military bans removable media to prove their senior officers in each branch relayed the orders and reaffirmed personnel would risk of court-martial if they failed to comply……

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 Department’s secret network. Similar directives have gone out to the military’s other branches.

It’s 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 there’s 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 they’re taking away our hammers.”But to several Defense Department insiders, the steps taken so far to prevent another big secret data dump have been surprisingly small. “After all the churn…. The general perception is business as usual. I’m not kidding,” one of those insiders says. “We haven’t turned a brain cell on it.

Tape and disk backups, as well as hard drive removals, will continue as normal in the military’s Secure Compartmented Information Facilities, where top-secret information is discussed and handled. And removable drives have been banned on SIPRNET before.Two years ago, the Pentagon forbade the media’s use after the drives and disks helped spread a relatively unsophisticated worm onto hundreds of thousands of computers. The ban was lifted this February, after the worm cleanup effort, dubbed “Operational Buckshot Yankee,” was finally completed. Shortly thereafter, Manning says he started passing information to WikiLeaks.


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