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Thumb drive follies

June 13, 2013 - Harry Eagar
I don't know anything really about computer security, but I've read a few books about it. One thing I learned -- or thought I'd learned -- a long time ago was that thumb drives were a big threat but easily defeated: Just epoxy the USB ports.

I brought this up with a computer security expert some 20 years ago, and he told me, more or less, "We don't do that any more. We have internal methods that are better."

Seemed wrongheaded to me then, but what do I know? It's like keeping deadly weapons locked up where 4-year-olds cannot get at them. Seems a simple enough solution to me.

So how did Bradley Manning smuggle out his secrets? Thumb drive.

And Snowden? Thumb drive again, according to the Los Angeles Times.

My son-in-law has a security clearance, and at his facility (which I visited on family day last year), you cannot bring in a cellphone, or a camera (I was allowed to use a camera on the grounds outside).

This is in Hawaii, not far from the NSA offices where Snowden worked. Apparently the Air Force takes computer security more seriously than Booz Allen does.


Article Comments



Jun-15-13 5:24 PM

Was Bill Gates a security risk? Einstein? They are not.

History repeats itself. Many don't like America can become Pilgrims and sail off on a ship called the Hayflower and return to England. English don't want Americans nor do other countries. They just want free money given by Americans.

What say craterman? One thing I find about fox news is that it is comprised of all losers who lost the race to become President. Daily they say one thing and lie only to lie again and contradict themselves. They live a life of lies and not sure what the truth is. Read the definition of a conservative and liberal.


Jun-15-13 3:06 AM

Richard Branson, the Virgin Group founder, did not go to college.


Jun-14-13 12:44 AM

Did Bill Gates graduate High School? Yes, he did. Everyone knows Gates did not graduate college or Einstein as well. They would teach instead of learn.

johngault, calling others doppess reflects on you. That is the only echo in this forum. An echo only is heard in a vacuum, where sounds bounce.


Jun-13-13 11:49 PM

Actually Einstein was a top student. The myth that he flunked math started with some moron who didn't understand German report cards.

I work at a pawn shop. Pawn shops were around before banks, and they provide credit to people banks won't touch.

And, besides you have never heard me complain about bank interest rates. So stop making stuff up, about Einstein or me.

I am not pleased about the tone of some of the comments lately. Comments good; bad manners, not good.


Jun-13-13 8:10 PM

Hey doppess, Bill Gates of Microsoft dropped out of college, Brian Williams of NBC reportably was a college dropout, Einstein was a poor student. A degree or great gaps is no guarantee of success nor is a lack of the above a reliable predictor of character and so on...... Echo on dude.


Jun-13-13 7:07 PM

Snowden never graduated High School. The picture is that he should never have gotten into a High Security job as NSA.


Jun-13-13 4:44 PM

Hey dude do you still work at a pawnshop? The rates that they charge the afflicted 99% is shameful,and you rant about the banks, go figure. But their security is better than Booz or NSA. Pawn on dude.


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