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Tourist buys MP3 player at thrift store for $9 - finds it contains secret military files

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posted on Mar, 21 2009 @ 01:32 PM
CNN WIRE reported this story:

A man walks into a thrift store.

It sounds like the opening line to a bad joke. And this case was a bad joke - for the Pentagon.

Chris Ogle of New Zealand was in Oklahoma about a year ago when he bought a used MP3 player from a thrift store for $9. A few weeks ago, he plugged it into his computer to download a song, and he instead discovered confidential U.S. military files.

"The more I look at it, the more I see, and the less I think I should be," Ogle said with a nervous laugh in an interview with TV New Zealand.

The files included the home addresses, Social Security numbers and cell phone numbers of U.S. soldiers. The player also included what appeared to be mission briefings and lists of equipment deployed to hot spots in Afghanistan and Iraq. Most of the information appears to date to 2005.

I posted the entire story at the Worldview blog I also added links to other reports about the event.

The incident appears to have occured in January 2009. I could not find a lot of reports about the story.

So how safe are our secrets?

I found this comment about the stroy:

A more basic question is why wasn't this info encrypted ? I keep my financial information and other sensitive information on my pc but it is ALWAYS encrypted until I go to access it. It is then re-encrypted when I am done. This is basic security 101. Why isn't he military and all government agencies using this simple, basic rule of security ?

[edit on 21-3-2009 by tsrk30]

posted on Mar, 22 2009 @ 03:46 AM
Interesting find! Shows how lazy some people can be! Then again, it's possible the data was meant for something more sinister and the owner forgot to erase the evidence? Lol, anyway with more and more gadgets showing up in thrift shops, pawn shops and the like, we could see this happening more and more in the near future. For instance I picked up a Sandisk Cruzer 4 gig stick at my local Salvation Army for 12 bucks and wouldn't you now it? It was full of personal pictures, and school papers, etc. I'm surprised that more people don't bother to secure or delete their personal data before selling or donating storage devices.

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