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Air Force officer’s unsecured backup drive of personnel files contained ‘blueprint’ to blackmail

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Thousands of U.S. Air Force documents, including highly sensitive personnel files on high-ranking officers, were left exposed on an unsecured backup drive.

The files — including completed applications for national security clearance for two four-star generals — could have been accessed by anyone because the backup drive was connected to the internet without password protection, reported ZDNet.

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The website reviewed the unprotected files and found they contained the names, addresses, ranks and Social Security numbers of more than 4,000 officers, and another file lists the security clearance levels for hundreds of officers.

The unprotected drive belongs to a lieutenant colonel, but ZDNet did not publish that officer’s name.

A Mackeeper security researcher notified the drive’s owner last week, and the data was secured.

The drive contained completed national security clearance forms filled out by two generals who each recently held top U.S. military and NATO positions — which national security experts told the website could be described as “holy grail” information for foreign spies.

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Both generals, who have not been named, are now retired.

The clearance forms asks applicants to disclose past arrests, drug and alcohol issues, or mental health concerns, in addition to other potentially embarrassing personal information.

The unsecured data — which also included a list of officers under investigation for unsubstantiated claims of wrongdoing — offer a “blueprint” for blackmail, according to one former government official.

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It’s not clear how long the backup drive was active or whether anyone besides the security researchers accessed the documents it contained.

A Department of Defense subcontractor, Potomac, was the source of another data disclosure last year, when the personnel files of physical and mental health support staff were accidentally leaked.


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Legal scholar exposes the absolutely bonkers ‘missing link’ in Rudy Giuliani’s Ukraine conspiracy theory

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Ryan Goodman, a professor at New York University School of Law, has written a new article with NYU colleague Alex Potcovaru exposing the direct link between President Donald Trump's request to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and to investigate a debunked conspiracy theory pinning the blame on Ukraine for interfering in the 2016 presidential election.

Writing at Just Security, Goodman and Potcovaru examine past statements made by Giuliani both on cable news shows and on social media, and have discovered that Giuliani's efforts to get Ukraine to probe the 2016 election are also an effort to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.

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Trump Organization boasts about India towers just days after Eric Trump says family doesn’t do international business

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The Trump Organization undermined Eric Trump's lie about the president's family ending its international business dealings.

President Donald Trump's second son falsely claimed last week to Fox News host Laura Ingraham that he and his siblings "got out of all international business" after their father took office.

"The difference between us and Hunter (Biden) is, when my father became commander in chief of this country, we got out of all international business," Eric Trump said.

However, the Trump Organization run by Eric Trump and his older brother Donald Trump Jr. sent out a tweet Monday morning promoting the Trump Towers in Pune, India.

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Trump wants to ‘wash his hands of responsibility for the Kurds’: US official tells NBC News

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A source reportedly told NBC News on Monday that President Donald Trump wants to "wash his hands of responsibility for the Kurds."

NBC correspondent Richard Engel reported the remarks on Monday morning.

"US officials tell me Trump wants to wash his hands of responsibility for the Kurds," Engel wrote on Twitter. "The US mil/gov gave Kurds REPEATED assurances of protection. US even asked Kurds to REMOVE defenses BEFORE the Turkish offensive. Kurds complied and now being displaced. WH says not our problem."

Read the tweet below.

US officials tell me Trump wants to wash his hands of responsibility for the Kurds. The US mil/gov gave Kurds REPEATED assurances of protection. US even asked Kurds to REMOVE defenses BEFORE the Turkish offensive. Kurds complied and now being displaced. WH says not our problem.

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