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[ISN] Backpack bungle as Defence aide allows spies to steal portable drive
By Dylan Welch
November 4, 2011
AN aide de camp working for Australia's most senior military officer in
the Middle East had an encrypted classified thumb drive stolen while
travelling through Kuwait last year, in a major security breach for
A subsequent investigation found it was likely the USB drive was either
stolen by, or ended up in the possession of, a foreign intelligence
The compromise of the classified material - which included ''Australian
Eyes Only'' Defence documents of the commander of Australian military
operations in the Middle East, Major-General John Cantwell - was
described as a ''major security incident'' by Defence.
It is one of a series of thefts and losses revealed in Defence Security
Agency investigation reports between 2008 and last year, obtained by the
Herald under freedom of information laws.
''The loss of the USB was a deliberate theft and not accidental,'' the
investigation report states.
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