When it comes to national security, one of the keys to keeping the American President safe is the fleet of executive aircraft -- from presidential helicopters, to the ultra-high-tech jet fortress, Air Force One. Thus it came as quite a shock to the security community when security firm Tiversa discovered blueprints of the Barack Obama's presidential helicopter, Marine One, being hosted by an Iranian IP address.
The leaked plans included details on the helicopter's communications and engineering. Describes Bob Boback, CEO of Tiversa, "We found a file containing entire blueprints and avionics package for Marine One,which is the president's helicopter. What appears to be a defense contractor in Bethesda, MD had a file sharing program on one of their systems that also contained highly sensitive blueprints for Marine One."
Mr. Boback believes the leak may be innocent in nature. He points out that many file sharing programs automatically share the contents of your entire hard drive. The employee may merely have downloaded a P2P client to download music and videos and ended up unwittingly leaking the highly confidential information on Marine One. Says Mr. Boback, "When downloading one of these file-sharing programs, you are effectively allowing others around the world to access your hard drive."
Retired Gen. Wesley Clark, who consults with Tiversa, says that at least the breach has been fully traced. He states, "We found where this information came from. We know exactly what computer it came from. I'm sure that person is embarrassed and may even lose their job, but we know where it came from and we know where it went."
According to Mr. Boback, they have notified the appropriate authorities, which are taking steps to safeguard the President. He states, "They are working through a process to maintain the security of the president."
Iran is just one of several nations in the Middle East to comb P2P networks, he says. He states, "We've noticed it out of Pakistan, Yemen, Qatar, and China. They are actively searching for information that is disclosed in this fashion because it is a great source of intelligence."
Rep. Jason Altmire (D - PA) said he was disturbed by the incident, and called on measures to monitor P2P networks more carefully for classified information. He states, "Well, I'm very troubled to hear this because there are obviously elements in Iran that are not friendly to the United States and it would be an understatement to say that this type of information could be very detrimental were it to fall into the wrong hands."
Retired Gen. Clark aptly points out, "Once it's out there, it's hard to get it back. I don't think the full ramifications of this have been understood by the watchdog agencies."
quote: Well, they were already re-designing it so perhaps despite the overruns to the production costs, there is less political capital lost if Obama approves the new Marine One because the old ones security has now been compromised.
quote: I'm not much into conspiracy theories, but it is a heck of a coincidence that this leak surfaces just a week after McCain very publicly criticized the new helicopter project.
quote: Uhm, Obama agreed and said he didn't see the need for the helicopters either.
quote: This was a project initiated by the Bush administration and supported by the Navy
quote: So the Department of Defense is part of Pres 'administrations' now ?
quote: After he was called out on it.
quote: But Obama's need for presidential protection is slightly decreasing with each new terrorist supporting country he begins neqotiating with.
quote: our principals?
quote: other countries saftey?...
quote: Since when were we ever worried about Cuba invading?
quote: Obama is becoming friendlier with these terrorist supporting nations is a clear sign of our country throwing away their stance on NOT SUPPORTING terrorism.
quote: The safety of many countries depends on the US (and other countries of peaceful power) ability draw lines and set restraints.
quote: Just popping in to random terrorist supporting countries to have a chat just completely destroys that ability.
quote: One of those is only allowed to do so if the primary person is not available
quote: Obama has said that he would open up communication with Iran.
quote: Oh wait... only whites can be racist.
quote: Tiversa Director of Operations Keith Tagliaferri, who oversees the team that detected the Marine One files,...He describes the leaked Marine One documents as a "seven out of 10" on his own personal scale of severity, relative to the kinds of information he has found floating about online. And the tens? "There's no way we would ever, ever talk about that stuff."
quote: Mr. Boback believes the leak may be innocent in nature.