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Removable Media Encryption and Data Loss Prevention – No One Is Immune

Jan 08, 20082 mins
CareersData and Information SecurityIT Leadership

The Swedish Armed Forces said one of its staff had accidentally left a USB memory stick with classified military documents on a public computer in Stockholm. “We take this kind of carelessness very seriously,” Col. Bengt Sandstrom of the Military Intelligence and Security Service said in a statement.

According to Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet – which returned the portable computer memory device to the armed forces after receiving it from an unidentified person – the memory stick was found in a computer in a public Stockholm library. The military said it contained “both unclassified and classified information such as information regarding IED (improvised explosive devices) and mine threats in Afghanistan.” Two of the files were classified. Countries other than Sweden, including the United States, were also mentioned, the military said, but it did not say which countries.

Aftonbladet said the documents included an analysis of the situation in Afghanistan as well as a classified U.S. intelligence report.

Sandstrom was meeting with defense attaches from the countries mentioned in the documents to discuss the incident. The armed forces said the employee had admitted misplacing the memory stick, and that a preliminary technical investigation confirmed it belonged to him. A civil investigation is to be carried out and the contents of the memory stick will be analyzed to determine the damage its misplacement may have caused, the military said.