It is hard to go online without seeing yet another report about an inappropriate disclosure of classified information and last week was no different.
From an undisclosed location in Canada, Chris Doyon — also known under the hacker handle of Commander X, who is an active member of the group known as Anonymous (and pictured in an FBI photo above) — recently told the Postmedia in Canada: “Right now we have access to every classified databases in the U.S. government. It’s a matter of when we leak the contents of those databases, not if.”
This is not another case of a hacker penetrating the security of the system. During his interview he disclosed that the access to the classified information was not accomplished by hacking but by what many to believe is the weakest link in cyber security — insiders!
All the cleared cyber security individuals I checked with said it would be impossible to breach the security and gain access to “every classified database.”
When I posed the question, “But what if they had access to 10% of the databases?” they all agreed it would be a catastrophic digital event the likes of which we have not seen and would take decades to recover from such a breach if we could recover at all.
However, even if only a few of the many classified databases have been inappropriately accessed or copied, the result of disclosing this sensitive data has many cybersecurity and espionage professionals on edge.
One thing is certain, if Doyon has even a small percentage of the classified information he claims to have and discloses it, three-letter agencies and other law enforcement organizations will be stepping up their efforts to apprehend him.
That’s not to mention, since those databases are sure to contain sensitive information about our allies, which might include their assets and operations, our allies are likely to join in the hunt for Mr. Doyon. At this point it is a wait and see game and its Doyon’s move.
Kevin G. Coleman is a long-time security technology executive and former Chief Strategist at Netscape. He is Senior Fellow with the Technolytics Institute where he provides consulting services on strategic technology and security issues. He writes a weekly blog for Breaking Gov on the topic of cyber intelligence.