• United States



by Dave Gradijan

Details of Air Force One Security Taken Off Web

Apr 11, 20062 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Highly sensitive security information about the two Air Force One jetliners was removed from the Internet on Monday after it was reported that the data was posted on a public website, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The security information is used by rescue workers in case of an emergency aboard Air Force planes, according to the Chronicle. Included in this particular “technical order” were details about the anti-missile systems on Air Force One and the location of Secret Service personnel on the plane, among other sensitive information that terrorists could use in an attack on the president’s air carrier, the Chronicle reports.

Air Force spokeswoman Lt. Col. Catherine Reardon told the Chronicle there was no justification for how the information became available for public viewing.

“It should have been password-protected,” she told the Chronicle. “We regret it happened. We removed it, and we will look more closely in the future.”

The newspaper initially reported the existence of the technical order on Saturday, without divulging the sensitive details. It also alerted military and federal authorities immediately after discovering the information’s existence, but the document remained online a week after that notification, according to the Chronicle.

Reardon said the government and the military failed to remove the document sooner because they didn’t appreciate the significance, the Chronicle reports. Officials “missed the bigger picture [and] failed to raise the document to a higher level,” she told the Chronicle. “They saw that the document was not classified and thought they could not do anything about it.”

A Pentagon official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told the Chronicle that putting the technical order online in the first place was deemed “a cost-effective method for making the information available.”

“But it compromised information not only about Air Force One. … It had information about our entire fleet,” the official told the Chronicle.

For related content, read Airport Security’s Achilles’ Heel and Suspicious Minds.

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