As the U.S. miltary gets more and more technical, more and more military laptops are finding their way onto the global black market. It’s not really surprising (well, maybe it is) that it’s possible to buy all sorts of military equipment on the black market. But it’s one thing to buy a rocket propelled grenade to use to shoot at someone; it’s another thing entirely to buy a laptop filled with troop deployment plans, personnel information, and known weaknesses in your opponent’s vehicles.
I think this situation really highlights a fundamental flaw in the way computing technology works. The military uses all sorts of specialized gadgets, and yet they (and their contractors) rely on the same old Windows operating systems that you and I use. Businesses have been struggling for years with ways to keep corporate information secure. The current trend is whole disk encryption, whereby the entire contents of a hard drive are encrypted. If the drive is removed from the system, or the proper credentials not supplied at boot, the data on the drive remains inaccessible.
I’m sure the military is using stuff like whole disk encryption, and other techniques to protect the data stored on their laptops. But I wonder if consumer computing solutions can truly be effectively hardened for use in such hostile environments?
Via Defense Tech.