French fighters grounded due to Windows virus

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/4547649/French-fighter-planes-grounded-by-computer-virus.html
One has to wonder how easy it is to remove military capability,
without even using any conventional weapons.
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On Mon, 09 Feb 2009 09:37:21 -0600, Ignoramus17377

Whats the best way to kill a tank?
incapacitate the crew before they ever get into the tank.
A bit of drano in their water supply/beer/soft drinks/burgers may not kill them, but will prevent their multimillion dollar behemoth from going anywhere.
Im sure you get the idea.
Always strike at the weak links.
Which is why intelligent partisans and asyemetrical warfare is so effective.
Gunner
"Not so old as to need virgins to excite him, nor old enough to have the patience to teach one."
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Yep. Very insightful.
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09:37:21 -0600, Ignoramus17377, ignoramus17377@NOSPAM.17377.invalid wrote:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/4547649/French-fighter-planes-grounded-by-computer-virus.html
When I worked for the Navy as a machinist, I had the "additional duty" of ISSO - Information Systems Security Officer.
This was in the days when most of the machines in the shop ran DOS 5.0, with the rare DOS 3.3 or Windows 3.1. All of the machines were on a LAN, but nothing connected to the outside world. My primary duties wearing that hat were to keep McAffee updated, inspect machines for unauthorized software (and attend the somewhat inane security meetings). The sole vector at the time was people bringing software in on floppies (which they had downloaded from a BBS).
A few years later, I looked back on that experience as a bygone era. Viruses just don't get transmitted that way anymore when the internet is so much more efficient. Ha. Now it's USB keys.
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Steve Ackman wrote:

I'm still wondering about that one... what exactly are people carrying around on said USB "keys"? Their pirated music is on their iPuds and most software won't run directly off a USB "key". I never carry stuff on a USB "key" as I am able to readily access whatever I might need from my home systems remotely over the 'net, even from inside the heavily firewalled corporate network.
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In Windows, a USB thumb drive can contain certain executables like autorun.exe, or some such, and Windows would automatically execute them. This is convenient under some assumptions, but not very safe if your thumb drive is made in China. There was a big scandal recently about USB thumb drives from China containing malware.
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On Mon, 09 Feb 2009 12:18:19 -0600, Ignoramus17377 wrote:

... or if your USB drive has been plugged into a machine carrying the virus.
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Tim Wescott wrote:

Yes, but that doesn't answer my question - What exactly are people carrying on these USB thumb drives? I'm just trying to figure out what the use is.
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wrote:

My wife and I both use them for carrying work back and forth to home. I carry my passwords on mine -- double encrypted -- and some books I read in downtime. And I use it to carry large CAD files to a blueprint service when they're too large to print at home, when I want to see a preview in person before the file is printed.
-- Ed Huntress
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wrote:

I carry photos, ebooks, tech manuals, exploded parts diagrams, music etc on my 4gig thumbdrive. Lets say a client wants the programming section from one of the manuals...he simply plugs my drive in to his computer, and prints out the relevant portions. I do run virus scans on my flash drive virtually daily and have it set to read only when Im out in the field. Whenever its plugged into a computer other than my own...its "read only" so it prevents something on their system from getting back into my drive. And Im VERY cautious about my hardware. It only goes into one laptop, heavily sheilded, which has access to only one desktop, which is VERY VERY heavily sheilded
Works out just fine for portable data storage. You can get a shitload of data on a 4 gig $15 flash drive.
Gunner
"If the personal freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution inhibit the government's ability to govern the people, we should look to limit those guarantees."
Bill Clinton 1993-08-12
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Pete C. wrote:

Oh!
Ok, I have one for my cad stuff (16 Gig!) and another 16 gig for my iPod library.
Then two 8 gig with the coastal nav charts for the gulf coast (redundant) And another for the Columbia river charts.
I have four 8 gig for transferring movies from home to the ships computer. We don't take the DVDs out of the house. Too expensive to replace and too delicate to survive being tossed around the boat.
A 4 gig with setups for the laptops.
One is dedicated to legal documents.
Basically anything you'd put on a CD. Especially if it would take multiple CDs to cover it.
It that what you were asking?
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cavelamb wrote:

Yep, pretty much.
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A bunch of apps from http://portableapps.com /
A fairly large amount of documentation that is mine and not the companies that helps me in my work.
Then there are personal files, I want to get to at break w/o putting them on a company system.
Wes
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    [ ... ]

    As I understand it -- the thumb drives were issued to people at the Pentagon for transferring data which could (or should) not be sent over the net.
    Also -- they *can* carry encryption keys or encrypted identification to allow the carrier to access (some) computers in the restricted areas. (I don't know that they were used in this way, but it makes sense.)
    Someone loaded a bunch of drives of the same type and appearance with malware and dropped them various places around the parking lot.
    People found them, wondered who had lost them, and to determine that, plugged them into their work computers to read who the owner was so they could return them.
    Zap!
    Now -- everyone is having to figure out how to do the things which the USB keys were being used for.
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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One of the best/secure one I know of is the IronKey.
10 bad password guesses, (or attempts to open the case) and the device erased all of memory using a built-in battery.
And it's not a software loop. It used a propritary mechanism to zero memory using hardware.
Besides storing of secure information in a thumb drive, it has other features. There are three flavors of IronKey. One has a password management, and anonymous browser setup (using TOR).
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The information in the key may be safe, but can the user still plug in their own Sandisk?
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Ironkey is a flash drive.
https://www.ironkey.com /
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Pete C. wrote:

They may well be carrying flight plans and other planning stuff from insecure computers to secure systems. It is almost de rigeur that security is increased until people can't perform their daily work without breaching the security system in some way. Everybody thinks they have done such a GREAT job securing everything, and then all hell breaks loose when they find out that general users have been moving stuff around on floppies, CDs, thumb drives, or whatever the latest technical wrinkle is, and voiding all the careful security procedures. Sometimes it makes such a big mess it winds up in the papers. I'll bet this was the same thing, the security honchos thought there was no need to mess with mandatory security upgrades, as there was "no way" any viri could find their way into the secure inner sanctum of their network. Ho ho ho!
Jon
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There was a famous security audit carried out a few years ago, in which the auditors scattered thumb drives in the parking lot of the client they were auditing.
By noon, 15/20 of the drives had been plugged into computers by employees curious to see what was on them, and the enclosed autorun scripts had reported in.
And the employees *knew* a security audit was being conducted.
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On Feb 22, 4:04pm, snipped-for-privacy@green.rahul.net (Edward A. Falk) wrote:

Other than holding down the shift key, is there a way to permanently disable autoruns?
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