Friday, August 26, 2005

Lab probes computer story

ROGER SNODGRASS,, Monitor Assistant Editor

An Albuquerque television station reported last night that a used computer purchased at auction was said to contain classified information.

A LANL spokesman said this morning the lab was investigating, but that it was highly unlikely the computer had classified information.

A 10 p.m. news segment, reported by Mindy Mizelle on KOB-TV said a news photographer from the station purchased the machine and was surprised to find that it contained a hard drive. He was further surprised to find that it contained data.

The report said the hard drive contained memos and time sheets from the laboratory, some of which were marked classified.


Full Story

I guess we're lucky that LANL/UC's critics aren't more clever than they are. These hoaxes are getting debunked faster every time.
Its not debunked yet my friend. You still broke the rules by allowing that computer to leave LANL without being totally erased at the government level required. So someone is going to bit the dust, if not all of you. I guess it back to class on security, hah ?
I'm afraid that when you get caught using video tricks to make general memos look like classified, you lose the moral authority to lecture on security. The real outrage here concerns the lengths to which POGO/the media/the Santa Fe crunchies are willing to go to advance their private agendas. When you treat as enemies people who help ensure the national security, you damage your own country.
No doubt about it: the media have no ethics. They are lower on the scale of morality than lawyers, politicians, Enron accountants, used car salesmen, etc. We need some accountability for these people.
If this is a false and manipulated (by KOB-TV) story then UC should come out with all guns blasting and sue KOB-TV and its parent comapny and any other related company for slander and false reporting. Make them them retrack ala Dan Rather and the Bush story.
The troubling part of this event is that once again LANL policy was not followed. Kuckuck clearly states that it is LANL policy to remove the hard drives before salvage. It wasn't done. Period.
This "trivial" screw up is costing LANL/UC even more bad press and is costing the taxpayers at least thousands of dollars. I suggest taking this out of the pay of the LANL person responsible. This practice, over time would provide a real incentive to stop such screw ups.
Also troubling is the entry on another thread on this issue, on this blog, to the effect that at least one Division apparently has a policy on hard drives removal that is at odds with the Director's stated policy. Sounds like classic LANL; ~150 Groups connected by a common janatorial service.
The original event is trivial, and the media seems irresponsible. But, looking deeper, it raises many troubling questions about LANL culture. These need to be addressed.
If no ethics is the criteria maybe Nanos, Foley and all of their cohorts can get a job at KOB.
Yes IM sent out a memo stating that because computers are sold WITH HARD DRIVES it is the user who is responsible---not the OCSR, KSL, computer support, etc. But no software is provided (that we know of) because there is no lab or division training on sanitizing or wiping hard drives....
How can the end user be responsible? I know that I do not have authority to even insttall software on my system, let alone delete software or wipe the disk. All those authorities were taken away from me as end user in the name of security...

Since when does an e-mail from IM Division count as lab policy...

I do know that I am no longer going to watch KOB or believe any of their "news" from now on.
I agree that the user is not responsible for "sanitizing" a discarded computer.... IM sent us the memo at the crack of dawn Friday, obviously in a CYA move.... the memo certainly IMPLIED it was lab policy as it contained several links to official documents that "proved" it was the user's responsibility. I guess IM didn't send the memo to Kuckuck.
Regardless of what is on KOB's computer, we have now seen that there is a problem at LANL: nobody seems to know what to do the the computer before you send it to salvage or surplus. Our group's practice was todo a wipe-disk on such computers. This was done based on verbal instructions from some long forgotten person. BUT, it is quite clear that not everyone agrees that this needs to be done.

Clearly there is a problem in communications here.

After the fiasco of last year, NO ONE is suppose to be working on the
insides of their computers unless they have been specifically trained in
safety issues to do that work (ie, electrical, etc). That new policy is
very clear in my group. I use to install disk drives, hardware tweaks, etc.
on my own office computer, and love to tinker with hardware, but it will
now get you FIRED. If IM has a memo saying it is the user's responsibility
to pull a hard drives, that is total BS. It is cross-currents of confusing
"policy" like this that are driving the staff into a joint, wide-spread
nervous breakdown. Please, LM, come take over this mad-house!
Given the LANL policay manual (AM), Holian could have been fired for his Phyics Today article. In fact he would have been except that a few wiser heads at UC realized that doing so would have been crapping in their hat!

But, policies that constrain employees from Holian-type behavior and blogging are the norm!
can someone post the IM memo about selling computers with hard drives and users being responsible for sanitizing them?
I am sure by now that the Sec of Enery has a copy of this report on his desk and all of you should be heaing about it real soon. As I said before and of course the post was removed. If it wasn't for LANL population screwing up constaintly we'd all have a job. Again I will say that 12,000 employees is far to many as is 8,000 at LLNL. The best thing for the nation at this time is to get rid of 50% of its people at both labs and demand eight hours of work for eight hours of pay and to introduce you all to corporate America. I am sure you will not like it.
Poster 10:26pm, it sound like you can't wait to see us suffer some great
wrath. Sounds like you got screwed on your last job, and now can't wait
to see the same thing happen to others. Am I right? And your employer,
who you obviously hate, must be a real loser. Kinda like you.
No exactly but it will be fun to watch, and it will be to the benefit of the nation. They will finally start to get eight hours of work for eight hours of pay or you'll be out the gate. It will be wonderful to see the no-loads banished and in the street. Like the Sec of energy said, it is time to introduce you to corporate America. The party is over my friend. Over.. Welcome to the real world.
I'm salaried and I put in 10-12 hours a day and work weekends. There are many others just like me. I guess if all you want is 8 hrs. I can take back all of my free time that I have donated to the cause all of these years.
Can't you guys recognize when you are being played? The not-quite-correct English, the odd sentence structures - 10:26 (who is also 2:35) is likely a "guest" here from some Chinese information ministry.
Who you think you are 08:18:45 AM some kind of Hans Brix wanna be. You brow my cover. We still get you though. Just keep buying at Wal-Mart and Big Rots.
I think 3:44's father should have pulled out sooner.
People should go over the DOE and NIST regulations/guidelines (the 250 series I think) on the proper disposal of goverment equipment. From my readings, it is the responsibility of the guy who sends it to salvage to properly wipe the system before it is sent. The fact that UC/LANL management has not done this is the item that Congress/DOE/etc will focus on... not that KOB tried to get a scoop out of nothing.
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