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From: InfoSec News (isn_at_c4i.org)
Date: Mon Oct 21 2002 - 04:34:24 CDT
Forwarded from: William Knowles <wkc4i.org>
October 18, 2002, 5:21 PM PT
The U.S. Pacific Fleet's warships and submarines were missing nearly
600 computers as of late July, including at least 14 known to have
handled classified data, according to an internal Navy report obtained
The fleet, based in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, sought to prevent release of
the Naval Audit Service report, even though it was not classified.
"A release of this information could negatively impact national
security," wrote Rear Adm. Jonathan Greenert, the fleet deputy
commander in chief. His comments, dated Sept. 6, were contained in an
appendix of the report.
The audit service found "a serious risk that PCs containing sensitive
and classified information have been lost or compromised, which
presents a threat to national security and a potential embarrassment
to the Department of the Navy."
All 595 of the missing laptop and desktop computers featured removable
hard drives, had been leased to the Navy, and were capable of
processing classified information, the investigators said.
The report, published in its final form this month, was obtained first
by Defense Week, a trade paper that will publish its story on Monday.
Defense Week made excerpts available to Reuters.
The Navy declined comment on the current status of the missing
computers or any other aspects of the matter.
The audit dealt with only a small fraction of the Navy's computers.
The Atlantic Fleet was not examined. And in the Pacific Fleet, shore
facilities--where most computers are located--were not surveyed.
"At least 595 personal computers, including at least 14 reported to be
used for classified purposes, and possibly more, remained missing as
of July 23 from afloat units" of the Pacific Command, the report said.
"Data was not available as to how many of the remaining PCs were used
for classified processing," added a footnote, leaving open the
possibility that many more or all of those missing might have handled
The auditors cited a breakdown in management of the leased computers
and the lack of any system to track them.
"Communications without intelligence is noise; Intelligence
without communications is irrelevant." Gen Alfred. M. Gray, USMC
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