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» 23 April 2009
Obama's helicopter details leaked via P2P

Obama Helicopter Details leaked via P2P

 

Engineering and communications plans regarding President Barack Obama’s helicopter Marine One was leaked onto a P2P network and transferred to Iran, an Internet security firm reports. Tiversa, a company specializing in file sharing network monitoring software, claims that it has discovered a security breach that allowed the transfer of blueprints of engineering updates, avionics schematics as well as network information.

 

They claim that a defense contractor in Bethseda, Maryland had a P2P file sharing program installed in one of their machines that also happened to contain these sensitive information. He believes that it might have leaked through a P2P client such as LimeWire or BearShare onto the P2P network before being compromised. They have observed that the data was sent to an Iranian IP address – worrying analysts on how it was going to be used.

As a response to this security breach, Congress has reopened the investigation regarding P2P clients such as LimeWire and their role in “inadvertent sharing” over concerns that significant privacy and security risks still exists due to the use of P2P clients. While P2P client manufacturers have promised to make software changes to improve security back in 2007 during an initial investigation regarding inadvertent sharing, Congress worries that they may have not lived up to their promises. A letter has been sent to The Lime Group, LimeWire’s parent company, but the company has not yet made any comment regarding this report.

 

This was not the first case of security breaches occurring due to sensitive information leaking through the P2P network. A report on the “Today” show have cited claims that Social Security numbers, tax returns, student loan applications, and credit reports can be found by anyone on a P2P network. A report by Dartmouth College has found medical files of patients suffering from AIDS, cancer and mental conditions containing their names, addresses and even Social Security numbers. An investment firm using LimeWire for trading media had also accidentally released personal information regarding its clients, including Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. There have even been reports of deliberate theft of personal information to steal identities using P2P clients.

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