Friday, August 26, 2005

A used LANL Macintosh computer

From Anonymous:

On KOB TV news at 6AM this morning (Channel 4, reported by Monica Armenta) , there was a brief story that a KOB photographer bought a used LANL Macintosh computer that had a hard disk with classified information on it. He bought it from a company that sells surplus LANL and SNL computers. Nothing more at this time.

If true, this would be the last nail in the coffin for UC.

The "last" nail in the coffin of UC was pounded in just over a year ago. As any good carpenter knows, if you put too many nails into wood, it splinters all to hell.

-Brad Lee Holian
LANL is already claiming (Hi, Baghdad!) that it was a "training" computer.

I guess that about proves that the Mac in question really did have classified material on it.
Monica Armenta very clearly stated on KOB Eyewitness News (Channel 4) at 6:00 AM today (Friday, 8/26/05) that the computer had classified information on it.

Now, who are you going to believe: Baghdad Bob Fallin or Media Monica Armenta?
There does indeed seem to be a credibility gap regarding reports that come out of the LANL Public Afairs Office. Doesn't it seem to be about time to fix that, or is this something else that is going to have to wait for the new contractor to remedy?

Most of the blame for the dishonesty that spews from LANL PA can be blamed on Chris Harrington, UC spokesperson. He's the one who pulls Baghdad Bob's strings.
This is really KSL's problem but it going to reflect on UC. KSL is suppose to wipe the drives before they go out.
Anonymous : 8/26/2005 08:07:57 AM, are you certain of this? Our Group has been wiping the drives BEFORE we turn systems over to Property for surplus/salvage.
Evidently someone was lazy and did not wipe the disk or it had a hardware problem and would not boot off a cd. If thats the case the drive shoud have been removed.
Isn't it also a possibility that this "photographer" is lying? I mean LANL has a lot of problems, but there are just way too many coincidences in this story for it to be believable.

First of all, classified material is supposed to be on removable hard drives and used only on computers that are on the red network. So, the original computer owner would have had to of made a major security violation.

Then, this unclassified computer with alleged classified info on it would have had to been given to salvage without the owner or the owner's group erasing or removing the hard drive.

Then salvage would have had to have not erased the hard drive and forgotten to remove the hard drive.

Then auctioneers would have had to of forgotten to remove the hard drive before they put it on auction.

Then, out of all the people that normally purchase computers at auction (schools, small businesses, private citizens), what is the chance that all of this would have transpired only to have this single computer be purchased by a media employee of a major New Mexican news station?

Pretty damn slim.

This story is bogus.
The story might be bogus. One needs to consider, however, that it _is_ possible for a computer to leave the LANL premises without going through the "official" sanctioned path for releasing equipment.
Considering Doug posted the blog at 6:01:00 am. The blogger would have sent this information before it was reported by KOB.
KOB Eyewitness News Today starts at 5:00 am. The individual who sent me the alert was telling me that the news was being repeated at 6:00 (and 6:30, and 7:00).

I believe the story first aired on last night's (Thurs) news at 10.
Coincidence that the contract orals are next week?

How much proof do you need that there is no conspiracy actively attempting to discredit UC/LANL? UC/LANL is doing a fine job of that all by itself. They have been quite consistent and public in demonstrating their ineptness, especially since last July.
We have a contradiction: KOB TV claims to possess a LANL computer, legitimately purchased, that has classified data on it. LANL PA claims that the computer only has training data on it, no classified data. Is somebody lying? Is somebody mistaken? This story needs a follow-up.
It is obvious to me that LANL management is in desperate "spin" mode to
bottle up these emerging stories. Upper management knows they will soon
lose their high paying jobs when UC is gone, and are doing every thing
possible to save their sinking ship. Why, pray tell, were the uranium
tablets even contaminated with Americium? I know, the contamination was
small, but it should never have happened in the first place. You are
not allowed to have detection errors like this when you are tasked with
handling radiological materials. Yet, notice how LANL PR spins this
story as a non-event. Why were the post-docs operating with dangerous
fumes and no hood? Again, notice how LANL PR has worked to quickly
deep-six this story as a non-event. Today we have the classified
Mac story, and again, LANL PR works furiously to downplay the story.
It is over for UC. If you can't bear the idea of working for Lockheed,
you should start sending out resumes now. Like it or not, LM will
be running this place by next year, and the cleansing of the upper ranks
at LANL will have begun. The crud at LANL has been allowed to accumulate
for too long. Good management is pro-active, and not constantly reactive.
And our PR office has now flipped from being the worst critic of LANL
staff to now issuing poorly crafted "snow jobs" on the public. They need
to find a middle ground that is believable, else we will quickly lose
what is left of our credibility with the public.
It is interesting to note that neither the Albuquerque Journal nor the Santa Fe New Mexican has published anything about this yet.

Larry Creamer, DX-1 Retired
Regarding the ABQ Journal and the Santa Fe New Mexican (aka, "The Fishwrapper"), if the story did not break on KOB until the 10 PM news, then these papers may have been past their deadlines. This is just the kind of negative stuff about LANL that both papers really jump on. We should expect to see something tommorrow.
I'm inclined to believe that the auction computer had training documents on it. LANL has training classes for document marking that consist of things like stamping "SECRET" on blank sheets of paper. I suspect tomorrow's story will be that the documents marked classified contained text like "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet..."

People are boldly claiming the gig is up for Lance and LANL in the same week. What is it with the media going public with claims that haven't yet been vetted by the appropriate specialists?
Did I miss something? KOB TV News at Noon made no mention about their Apple computer story that I saw. They did have an interesting story about the Loch Ness Monster.

Larry Creamer, DX-1 Retired
It (the Apple story, not the Loch Ness one) is still up on their web page:
dug, 8/26/2005 12:50:55 PM said:
"I'm inclined to believe that the auction computer had training documents on it. LANL has training classes for document marking that consist of things like stamping "SECRET" on blank sheets of paper..."

I believe you are right, but don't those documents have markings indication that they are examples? Maybe KOB forgot to mention this.

Larry Creamer, DX-1 Retired
8/26/2005 01:14:21 PM said:
"It (the Apple story, not the Loch Ness one) is still up on their web page:"

Yes, but it has not been updated since early this morning.

Last Update: 08/26/2005 8:18:14 AM
By: Reed Upton

Larry Creamer, DX-1 Retired
I believe that you are being a little hard on the LANL PA office. I am sure that you know that if this is a real incident, no one of any authority can say anything until the offending article is recovered by DOE security personnel and an investigation is complete. The LANL PA office should have responded with "No Comment" except if an investigation has begun that already points to no compromise of classified information.
Since last July, the LANL PA office has done little but lie to us. It sounds to me like they are reaping the benifits now.
Here are some of the choices
1) The documents are training documents that were on a computer for someones class.
2) The documents are 'declassified' and not marked so. There are cases where items that were once classified or secret keep that even if the document is declassified.
3) The documents are a case of mishandled classified information.
a) Someone either put a classified drive out of ACREM into a salvaged computer, or
b) Someone took some classified documents to the open to work on them at home.. and didnt wipe them before the box got sent to the cleaners.

In any case, it will mean more disciplinary action on the part of some people. DOE regs are pretty clear that it is the responsibility of the 'owner' of the hardware and his manager (team-leader/group-leader/etc) that hardware is to be wiped before it is sent to reapplication/salvage. This goes above the responsibility of KSL to wipe them..

[Ok I am probably being a bit humourous in saying it is 'clear' in the DOE regs. You need 20 lawyers to figure any of the NAPS or Regs.]

Now I am going to have to go to that auction house more often..
Many bloggers are so blinded by hatred of UC that they jumped on this bogus story like on divine truth, despite we all know how accurate could be the reports in the media. I am very disappointed again by the blog.
I am not disappointed by this blog. I'm disappointed that our UC
management, obviously, has no clear policies on how PC disks are
to be properly salvaged by LANL. This problem has been brewing for
some time. There is no excuse for that disk being in an auctioned
computers, and it is not the PC user's fault that it was still in the
machine. Never the less, I'm sure UC will find some lowly staff
person to place the blame on. The real blame for this one lies much
higher up the food chain.
I agree. That was the point to IM's early morning memo on Friday: to stick the blame on the USER....not on management at any level...a usual IM tactic.

The really interesting thing was that the IM memo totally contradicted Kuckuck's memo, which came out later the same day. In either case, some lowly person somewhere will take the blame.
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