A team of security researchers bought a German military laptop, including confidential data, from eBay for $ 99. On the other hand, a laptop with this type of information is not sold for the first time on eBay.
German security researchers bought a German army laptop from eBay quite cheaply. It was discovered that the computer, which was bought for $ 99, contained easily accessible secret military information. The computer, purchased by researchers of the company G Data in Bochum, contains many documents as well as instructions on how to destroy the LeFlaSys Ozelot air defense system.
LeFlaSys Ozelot is a mobile air defense system that was first deployed in 2001 and is still operational. Quickly reacting to airborne threats with a land-to-air missile system, LeFlaSys Ozelot protects command centers and soldiers on the move. It is also among the information that the files are marked with “VS-Nur für den Dienstgebrauch”, which means the lowest degree of privacy.
LeFlaSys Ozelot is still in use:
According to G Data security expert Tim Berghoff to Deutsche Welle, the laptop weighing 5 kilograms is designed for field use. Berghoff noted that the device was still working properly when estimating that it was manufactured in the early 2000s. The computer contains a lot of technical information about the LeFlaSys Ozelot system.
It is stated that while reaching a series of instructions, from how to operate the air defense system to maintenance, instructions to completely destroy the system are given as a precaution against the possibility of falling into the hands of the enemy. Berghoff says that it is very easy to access the device and even Windows login does not ask for a password. The password at the entrance of the program, which contains the documentation of the weapon system, was a very easy combination to guess. After doing all this, Berghoff and his colleague Alexandra Stehr began to browse through the files comfortably.
The device is stated to be on sale by a recycling company in Bingen. Speaking to Der Spiegel, the German Defense Ministry argued that the responsibility to destroy data on the laptop was in the recycling company. The spokesperson of the ministry noted that all computers used for LeFlaSys Ozelot systems were deprecated and sent for recycling.
The ministry said, however, that the information obtained is not very critical data and does not provide critical information to enemies. The Ministry of Defense is obliged to destroy all data before selling IT equipment. Last year, a forest protection guard from Upper Bavaria found secret data on the Mars mobile rocket launcher on a laptop he bought.