Retraction: White House Strategy to Prevent Leaks is Leaked

Friday, January 07, 2011

Infosec Island Admin

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Retraction:  White House Strategy to Prevent Leaks is Leaked

The document cited in this article, "M-11-08, Initial Assessments of Safeguarding and Counterintelligence Postures for Classified National Security Information in Automated Systems", was in fact not "leaked", as the article states.

Credit for bringing the error to my attention goes to member Daniel Philpott, who noted the document was posted at the Office of Management and Budget site. I would like to personally extend my thanks and appreciation for his efforts to help get the facts straight.

I was completely erroneous in stating that the document had been leaked, and regret not confirming via other sources the assertions made in the article that was my original source for the assumption, "US Gov't Strategy To Prevent Leaks Is Leaked".

The main point of my article, that the government utilizes leaks to disperse information informally, is nonetheless valid. I did, though, choose the wrong document to build my argument around, and for this I error I am deeply regretful.

This was grave mistake on my part, and I wish to offer my sincerest apologies to the community, my colleagues, and the general public for the misinformation.

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shawn merdinger This retraction is professionally done, and aside the initial mistake, I believe there are lessons for all of us to learn here.

Specifically, the issue of metadata in all documents is a security risk and leak within itself. We really need integrated, easy-to-use and seamless tools that will cleanse a document of unnecessary metadata that discloses an organization's information, like emails, OS, software versions, internal network paths and directories, etc.

Folks really should take a look at Defcon 18's video archive and especially the "FOCA2: The FOCA Strikes Back" presentation which covers in detail WhiteHouse.gov public document metadata extraction.

http://www.defcon.org/html/links/dc-archives/dc-18-archive.html

Video: FOCA2: The FOCA Strikes Back
http://bit.ly/gs8Hev

Slides: FOCA2: The FOCA Strikes Back

http://www.slideshare.net/chemai64/defcon-18-foca-2

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Greg George Well, it appears you've made it to the Big League Anthony M - if the WSJ can print a retraction, so can InfosecIsland - as well intentioned as we may be, happens to the best of us at times.
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Bryce Mitchell Mistakes happen; admitting they were mistakes does not always happen. Well done, Anthony!!
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