But sir, it wasn’t me!

August 31, 2013

Client:  It wasn’t me.  I didn’t (send that raunchy email) (I didn’t download that porn).

Atty:  But look, they’ve got all this forensic data showing it came from your Army account while you were on line.

Client:  It wasn’t me.

Atty:  Come on, you can’t beat the forensics.

Huuuuuuuum.  Been there before?  Expect to be there again?  Somewhat unbelieving about the client’s claims, especially after your own expert has been through the data.

Well, not so fast — Army, Army Admits To Major Computer Security Flaw

The United States Army’s Deputy of Cybersecurity Roy Lundgren has confirmed with BuzzFeed the existence of a major computer security flaw that enables unauthorized access to users without proper security clearance. They say the best fix is to make soldiers aware of proper conduct, instead of fixing the technology itself. . . .

“There are instances where the log-off process does not immediately complete upon removal of the CAC. This occurs when the system is running logoff scripts and shutting down applications,” Lundgren told BuzzFeed. “The period of time that a system can be accessed following CAC removal before system logoff completes is normally not sufficient to gain unauthorized access.”

The U.S. Army has been aware of the flaw for at least two years. One officer, a lieutenant, reported the flaw in 2011, to his superiors — a middle-ranking officer, and another in computer communications. He was made to sign the Army’s version of a nondisclosure agreement. Keep quiet, or face jail time, he was told. Another soldier, who went to his superiors and even Congress, got no results.

Since many military computers have stuffed, cluttered hard drives as the result of long-term use by large numbers of soldiers, they often hang while shutting down. When soldiers sharing computers are in a rush, this identity swap can easily happen by accident.

Or design from a malicious user, perhaps someone out to get the client.

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