Friday, August 26, 2005
By: Reed Upton
Los Alamos National Laboratory is investigating why an Apple computer bought at a computer auction in Albuquerque contained LANL documents, including items marked “classified.”
An Eyewitness News 4 photographer bought the computer. When he got it home he says he was surprised to see a hard drive in the machine.
“I was just amazed,” he says. “I thought maybe it was a drive that wasn’t used and that’s why they left it in there. But when I powered it on, it was unexpected to see that there was information still left in there.”
To which I replied:
I assume that the information you received from the Lab this morning came from a telephone call you made to Jim Fallin about the KOB TV story. I have some questions that I would like you to clear up with Fallin.
According to your story Fallin said that Lab officials were looking at a "mirror image" of the "hard drive" How did they get this "mirror image"?
Fallin said that the Lab had the entire history of ownership of the computer so they must know everything about the computer until it was released for auction, including the fact that it had a hard drive containing data.
The Lab provides training material that shows how to mark classified documents. Each document is clearly marked as a "sample" or "example". The documents shown never contain actual classified information.
Assuming that Lab Officials have a "mirror image" of the hard drive, they have had plenty of time to ensure that no classified information was accidently released. The only question that needs to be answered is how a hard drive containing data was found on a computer released for auction.
I expect that a follow-up report will answer these questions.
Laurence W. Creamer, DX-1 Retired
78 Granada Dr.
Los Alamos, NM 87544
Now let get this right -- you are tasking the monitor to report back to you? You are impressed with yourself.
Although you profess to know all about los alamos, perhaps a little review of SOP is in order. All machines are backed up -- for most users connected to the network, this back up is monthly. The monthly back up contains all the files -- and, believe it or not, is call a "mirror".
The serial number on the computer tracks the ownership (maybe you did not do property management in DX?). The computer was decommissed in July 05, and the paperwork clearly shows that KSL had custody (in fact the documentation says the disk was wiped).
KOB was told all this last night -- and the documents that were mark "classified" in their story are NOT -- they are emails sent to all employees in 2004 with subject lines about classified materials. KOB was also told that, and decided to run the story anyway, only highlighting the word "classified" and blurring the other words.
This is a perfect example of a new station having all the information, and making a sensational story...guess what, KOB called POGO and asked them for a comment on releasing classifed information. Why is there no outrage and KOB.
Now let get this right -- you are tasking the monitor to report back to you? You are impressed with yourself."
Yes, I tasked the Monitor to report back to me in their follow up story. This is my right as a subscriber to the newspaper.
You seem to have all the information that should have been in the KOB and the Monitor reports. I wish you had posted it sooner. Did you tell them?
Larry Creamer, DX-1 Retired
This may be SOP in some areas of LANL, but not all. You profess to know
more than you really do about LANL SOPs for computers. And Larry has
every right to ask questions of the LA Monitor. That's what good citizens
do in a democracy. You seem overly impressed with you knowledge of LANL
and it's procedures. Obviously, you have not been working in LANL support
for very long.
I am very impressed by that. You, on the other hand...