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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 3:06 AM

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


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 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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