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Dummkopf! Another security breach from a recycled computer hard drive

Orders may be orders, but someone will be having kaffee mit hut auf!

'Weighing in at a hefty 11 pounds, with a tiny 128 MB of working memory and a decades-old Pentium III processor, a used laptop recently bought by a German cybersecurity firm had its heyday long before the first iPhone was built. But the laptop’s new owner says it has one standout feature: Its hard drive carried — without encryption or even password protection — a confidential user manual and schematics for a surface-to-air missile system that Germany’s air force still uses. “How the computer ended up on eBay is currently unclear,” Nadine Krüger, a spokeswoman for Germany’s defense ministry, said on Tuesday. The ministry is investigating how the laptop was sold with its hard drive intact and easily accessible.

'The computer — built at the turn of the millennium and equipped with a removable battery and rugged padding for field use — was probably decommissioned as part of a system upgrade in 2014, Ms. Krüger, the defense ministry spokeswoman. In Germany, army surplus is usually resold by VEBEG, a state-owned company. How this computer made it into the hands of an eBay seller was not immediately clear. “We have very strict security rules for the divestment of surplus IT equipment,” Ms. Krüger said, noting that hard drives are usually removed from military computers when they are taken out of use.

'Nor was this the first time that a hard drive in an army surplus computer was found to contain classified information. In July, a Bavarian forest ranger found a classified manual for the mobile rocket artillery unit “Mars” on one of four laptops he had bought. On eBay, the seller of the computer containing the confidential information says it has sold 16 similar laptops. It is not clear what happened to the other 15.

'An employee reached at the reseller said the company sold up to 20 laptops a month, most of them of much more recent models.'


 
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'Nor was this the first time that a hard drive in an army surplus computer was found to contain classified information. In July, a Bavarian forest ranger found a classified manual for the mobile rocket artillery unit “Mars” on one of four laptops he had bought. On eBay, the seller of the computer containing the confidential information says it has sold 16 similar laptops. It is not clear what happened to the other 15.

MARS Manual? That's like from the 1970's, and was dropped when the MLRS came into service. Unless the Germans re-used the designation for it.
 

theoriginalphantom

MIA
Book Reviewer
MARS Manual? That's like from the 1970's, and was dropped when the MLRS came into service. Unless the Germans re-used the designation for it.


Could be, whenever anyone mentioned javelin on my last couple of tours I kept thinking of the air defence missile.
 
MARS Manual? That's like from the 1970's, and was dropped when the MLRS came into service. Unless the Germans re-used the designation for it.
MARS (Mittleres Artillerie Raketen System) is MLRS. The 70s variant was LARS (Leichtes Artillerie Raketen System) as far as I know we now have the MARS II a slightly upgraded version with M31 GMLRS and some changes on the vehicle.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
Could be, whenever anyone mentioned javelin on my last couple of tours I kept thinking of the air defence missile.
Screenshot 2020-03-18 at 09.06.18.png
 
They did. Reused it for MLRS.

Ahhh, so it was the project name.

MARS (Mittleres Artillerie Raketen System) is MLRS. The 70s variant was LARS (Leichtes Artillerie Raketen System) as far as I know we now have the MARS II a slightly upgraded version with M31 GMLRS and some changes on the vehicle.

LARS was the 110mm weapon system that predates MARS, mid to late 60's if memory is correct. MARS was originally a competition between the British FOIL (Would you like to know more?) system and the RS-80. The Germans had been playing silly buggers to avoid under all circumstances, buying the superior British system. Then the Treasury got fed up and cancelled FOIL, leaving the Germans looking all smug and thinking how the British would now have to accept their system.
Then the US whom had been saying "Nope we're not interested" suddenly showed up and said "Look what we've got! It's the new NATO standard, so pay up!", and the Germans were hoisted by their own petard as they had delayed for so long the US had managed to catch up.
To be utterly fair the MLRS was a good system with advantages over both the RS-80 and FOIL. But one does have to wonder how the FOIL would have turned out.
 
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Dark_Nit

LE
Book Reviewer
I bought an external hard drive caddy from a charity seller on ebay.

Only the caddy contained a 500GB HDD with about 200GB of someone's files on it including photos, videos and various personal files.

I wiped and deep re-formatted the HDD*

Whenever I get rid of a computer I remove the HDD and trash it with a hammer. There is also software out there which will completely wipe the HDD to a blank.



[*after checking there was no Xhamster material of course]
 
My hard drives and old mobile phones go for a swim about five miles into the Thames Estuary for the simple reason that I don't want my data falling into anyone else's hands. And I don't even keep data on weapons systems on them!
 
I bought an external hard drive caddy from a charity seller on ebay.

Only the caddy contained a 500GB HDD with about 200GB of someone's files on it including photos, videos and various personal files.

I wiped and deep re-formatted the HDD*

Whenever I get rid of a computer I remove the HDD and trash it with a hammer. There is also software out there which will completely wipe the HDD to a blank.



[*after checking there was no Xhamster material of course]

People have tested this by running over hard discs with a steamroller and they could still recover data, far better to repeatedly wipe the disc using specialist software than rely on trashing it by hand
 
Found an ancient (well, 2008) laptop on top of the rubbish bags outside a pc repair shop and wondered a/. might it work and b/. if it does, I could use the cd & dvd drives/rewriters to copy and store music etc.
Works perfectly, on XP but in Swedish.
Explore hard drive.
Bingo, a treasure trove of long and heartfelt sobbing emails to the former owner's boyfriend and his addiction to hard core porn ('you were my first etc.') and in the picture & video files, lots of topless & naked images of the stunning blonde girly and her apartment in Knightsbridge.
Let this be a lesson to us all: wipe clean your hard drive and it is always worth a look.


Sent from my karzi while losing several pounds
 
Found an ancient (well, 2008) laptop on top of the rubbish bags outside a pc repair shop and wondered a/. might it work and b/. if it does, I could use the cd & dvd drives/rewriters to copy and store music etc.
Works perfectly, on XP but in Swedish.
Explore hard drive.
Bingo, a treasure trove of long and heartfelt sobbing emails to the former owner's boyfriend and his addiction to hard core porn ('you were my first etc.') and in the picture & video files, lots of topless & naked images of the stunning blonde girly and her apartment in Knightsbridge.
Let this be a lesson to us all: wipe clean your hard drive and it is always worth a look.


Sent from my karzi while losing several pounds
Take a back first I trust?;)
 
People have tested this by running over hard discs with a steamroller and they could still recover data, far better to repeatedly wipe the disc using specialist software than rely on trashing it by hand
Terry Pratchetts files were ‘destroyed’ at his request by running over with a steam roller.
I came upon it when wandering around the Steam Fair and didn’t know what I was watching until later.

It took a lot of attempts for any impact to actually happen, so I’m unconvinced and his last works are very likely to be still in existence on the drive itself

 
Quite a few years ago, a mate and I were given (as part payment for a new install) some "sanitised" computers from a certain building society. Sanitised my arrse: these machines had all sorts on the local disks, mainly threatening letters to people in mortgage arrears.

My favoured methods are to chop hard drives in two with a 9 inch grinder, or an introduction to a handful of .223.
 
People get a bit blasé about getting rid of their hard drives. Smashing it with a hammer does not necessarily work as data can still be extracted from one of the disks in the platter. Drives, and the disks in them, are tougher than you might think.

Formatting the HDD is pointless from a security stance. I have recovered data from a formatted drive using free tools like Recuva (from Piriform) and Undelete (forget the supplier). Also used these to recover data from corrupted SD and other cards.

As best I recall the gold standard for wiping a drive is the US DoD standard (forget the number) which does multiple passes of writing random characters to the entire drive. I think it does it 7 times to eliminate any shadowing or data permanence that might remain. I have heard of one piece of software that does 50 passes.

There is also something called DBAN that does the same and is a sort of a standard for trashing entire networks. You probably don't want to press the YES button by mistake on that one.

This might be an Army urban myth but I read somewhere that the Dropshorts C&C vehicles were equipped with a chemical bog style thing. In the event of being overrun the HDD was meant to be dumped in it to destroy it. Had a ring of truth to it but I do wonder.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
Quite a few years ago, a mate and I were given (as part payment for a new install) some "sanitised" computers from a certain building society. Sanitised my arrse: these machines had all sorts on the local disks, mainly threatening letters to people in mortgage arrears.

My favoured methods are to chop hard drives in two with a 9 inch grinder, or an introduction to a handful of .223.
I usually call this chap:
Screenshot 2020-03-18 at 12.41.24.png
 

FakeSheikh2

Old-Salt
Wipe any hard drive will killdisk it wipes everything including the mbr.
Either that or open up, push a magnet over the surface & hit with hammer.
Or rip the connect ribbons & break soldering on the pcb chips.
 

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