Marine One blueprints and avionics leaked to Iran through peer-to-peer network
Published: Saturday February 28, 2009

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Thanks to a defense contractor's errant use of a peer-to-peer file-sharing network, President Obama's helicopter may not be as safe as it looks.

A Pittsburgh-area company that monitors peer-to-peer networks accessed with file-sharing software like LimeWire and Napster says it has identified a potentially serious security breach involving Marine One and an IP address in Tehran, Iran.

The company found a file detailing the helicopter's blueprints and avionics package, which it then traced to its original source, Tiversa CEO Bob Boback told NBC affiliate WPXI, which reported the story Saturday.

"What appears to be a defense contractor in Bethesda, MD had a file sharing program on one of their systems that also contained highly sensitive blueprints for Marine One," Boback said. Tiversa also found information detailing the cost of Marine One.

He said that what probably happened is someone at the defense company began using a file-sharing program without realizing it could leak sensitive and classified documents because the programs can allow others to access your hard drive.

Tiversa notified the U.S. government immediately so that the security breach and its potential effect on President Obama could be dealt with.

Retired Gen. Wesley Clark, an adviser to Tiversa, said he knows exactly which U.S. computer leaked the Marine One information, and that that person may soon be unemployed, according to WPXI.

"I'm sure that person is embarrassed and may even lose their job, but we know where it came from and we know where it went," Clark said, adding that other military information has been found online in the past.

Iran isn't the only country considered unfriendly to the United States that appears to be accessing sensitive information via the Internet.

"We've noticed it out of Pakistan, Yemen, Qatar, and China," Boback said. "They are actively searching for information that is disclosed in this fashion because it is a great source of intelligence."

Rep. Jason Altmire (D-Pa.) said he would ask Congress to investigate how to prevent inadvertent peer-to-peer file leaks from happening again.

WPXI's story on the security breach can be watched here.

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