U.S. Military Security Defeated by Copy and PasteSubmitted by RobHino on Fri, 12/07/2012 - 23:52
The document is a report written after an investigation into the death of Italian citizen Nicola Calipari at a checkpoint in Iraq. It contains both classified and unclassified information about what happened at the traffic control points in Baghdad on March 4, the day of the incident. The U.S. military has since removed the document from the Internet, but not before it was copied and republished on several Web sites.
The military apparently made an error when it chose to use an electronic technique for obscuring certain words and paragraphs from the original document. (According to a report by the Associated Press, a representative of Adobe Systems, owner of the PDF format, has suggested that whoever attempted to censor the report did so by placing black rectangles over the text in question, rather than deleting the text.)
The technique used would indeed have protected the data if the document were being read online or printed. However, by an attacker selecting the blacked-out text and using the copy and paste functions, he or she could easily reproduce the document in its entirety on any word-processing application.
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