Pentagon Accidentally Exposes Web-Monitoring Operation

(So the Department of Defense is spying on you if you write about what’s happened in Iraq or their “ISIS Crisis” thingy. That’s just great. Oh, by the way, now that “ISIS” is done in Syria, the Pentagon is still shipping weapons to the Glorious Kurds over there. Gee, I wonder why)

from PC News

The Department of Defense accidentally exposed an intelligence-gathering operation, thanks to an online storage misconfiguration.

DOD was reportedly collecting billions of public internet posts from social media, news sites, and web forums and storing them on Amazon S3 repositories. But it neglected to make those storage servers private. So anyone with a free Amazon AWS account could browse and download the data, according to Chris Vickery, a security researcher at UpGuard.

Vickery noticed the problem in September. “The data exposed in one of the three buckets is estimated to contain at least 1.8 billion posts of scraped internet content over the past 8 years,” UpGuard said in a Friday report.

Much of the data was scraped from news sites, web forums, and social media services such as Facebook and Twitter. The information includes content relating to Iraqi and Pakistani politics and ISIS, but also social media posts made by Americans.

In a Twitter direct message, Vickery told PCMag he “made sure the [storage] buckets we discovered were secured before anything was brought to media attention.” However, he has no idea if anyone else, like malicious parties, ever accessed the data.

DOD didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. But the Pentagon confirmed the accidental leak to CNN.

[read more here]

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