Man buys used iPod filled with sensitive U.S. military data

January 27, 2009

(ChattahBox) — A New Zealand resident purchased a used iPod, and got more than he bargained for. Chris Ogle bought the iPod for $15, from a thrift shop in Oklahoma, to play music, but it was filled with 60 pages of US military data on US military personnel, mission briefings, and equipment deployment. The files Ogle found on the iPod contain the names and personal details of US soldiers, including some who served in Afghanistan and Iraq. 

As well as personal details of US soldiers, such as social security numbers, the files also listed pregnant female troops and apparent mission briefings in Afghanistan. There are no details on exactly how many personal records are contained within the documents (most of which date back to 2005), but they do also have information on mission briefings and equipment deployment. No one knows how or why this sensitive information was stored on an iPod, or how that iPod slipped out to a used hardware vendor. According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), some of the phone numbers from the iPod’s records still work, and the identified individuals indeed picked up on the other end.

“The more I look at it, the more I see and the less I think I should be [seeing],” Mr Ogle told ABC. He says he will hand the iPod over to the US Defense Department should it ever ask.


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