DOD Web-watchers find war plans online
- By Dan Verton
- Apr 26, 2000
A new reserve unit that monitors the Defense Department's presence on the
World Wide Web has found an astonishing amount of classified or sensitive
material on public sites.
The Web Risk Assessment Team, established by the Joint Task Force for
Computer Network Defense, is made up of reservists who spend one weekend
each month scanning DOD Web sites, according to Air Force Maj. Gen. John
Campbell, commander of JTF-CND.
A survey of 800 major DOD sites on the Internet recently revealed as
many as 1,300 "discrepancies," some of them involving highly classified
information, Campbell said. The team uncovered more than 10 instances where
information on Pentagon war plans was posted.
Also among the discoveries has been information on computer system vulnerabilities
and more than 20 detailed maps of DOD facilities.
Some of the maps and photographs included detailed plans of a facility
known as "Site R," which serves as the alternate Joint Communications Center
for U.S. nuclear forces, according to Campbell. The overhead photo of "Site
R" showed the location of underground tunnel entryways and a detailed floor
plan of the facility.
Likewise, the Web site for an annual exercise known as "Cobra Gold"
included an entire list of participating units, communications frequencies
and call signs for aircraft and data on Identification Friend or Foe squawks,
which are signals used by pilots to determine if a plane is friendly or
In another instance, the team found a classified excerpt in a policy
document on counterterrorism.