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Thumb drive-based malware attack led to formation of US Cyber Command

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Recently declassified documents have revealed that the worst breach of U.S. military computers evar went down in 2008, a major turning point in our nation's cyberstrategy that eventually led to the formation of the United States Cyber Command. Operation Buckshot Yankee, as the defense came to be known, began when a USB thumb drive infected by a foreign intelligence agency was found in the parking lot of a Department of Defense facility in the Middle East. Whomever found the thing placed it in their laptop (probably hoping to find Justin Bieber MP3s), which just so happened to be attached to United States Central Command. From that point, writes Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn in Foreign Affairs, malware spread "undetected on both classified and unclassified systems, establishing what amounted to a digital beachhead, from which data could be transferred to servers under foreign control." Yikes! We still haven't found out which country orchestrated the attack, or what they might have learned from it, so until the Pentagon tells us otherwise we're going to do what we usually do in these situations and blame Canada (sorry, Don). [Warning: read link requires subscription]

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