Information Warfare: February 1, 2005

Archives

File sharing networks, like Kazaa, are the source of much free music, movies, TV shows and litigation. The are also the source of classified documents. The Dutch Border Security service (Marechaussee) recently found secret documents of their current investigations had been found on Kazaa. No surprise there. Kazaa works by allowing any net users to automatically share files on their hard drive. You use the Kazaa software on your PC to connect, and search everyone elses hard drives for files you are looking for. Most people are looking for copyright violations (music and video files they would otherwise have to pay for.) The security problem is that when many people set up the Kazaa software, they make their entire hard drive available to the world, rather than just a few directories containing music or movie files they want to share. Thus other users, usually accidentally, discover files they didnt expect to find. Some less scrupulous people, knowing this sort of thing exists, go looking for files that contain financial or other useful information. 

The problem is actually worse, and older than, the file sharing networks. When someone creates a web site, and uses one of their computers as a server, it is not uncommon to make files available to the Internet that are not meant to be available to everyone. Again, unscrupulous people, with sufficient technical skills, go looking for these files. The objective is often just curiosity, but professionals are searching for data that can be turned into money, legally or otherwise. 

Cyberwarriors use this situation to constantly seek out government, commercial or military hard drives that are vulnerable. The only defense is to keep your local network off the Internet, which is what a lot of intelligence agencies and military organizations do. But you can never be a hundred percent secure. Someone is going to take work home with them, leave sensitive files on their hard drive, then start using Kazaa

 


Article Archive

Information Warfare: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close