It is thought about 2.5 million US military and civilian personnel have access to the network.
However, Siprnet is not recommended for distribution of top-secret information.
Siprnet uses the same technology as the internet, but has dedicated and encrypted lines that are separate from all other communications systems, according to a defence department users’ guide.
The system is protected by a series of security measures, the guide adds:
- All users must be approved and registered
- Passwords are complex, and must be changed every 150 days
- Only accessible from specially enabled computers in secure location
- Computers must not be left unattended
- No linking to civilian internet without prior approval
- Media storage devices become classified at secret level once connected to Siprnet-enabled computers
- Audit trail of all users, including identity of all persons accessing Siprnet
However, the guide says that technological advances in storage devices have made it easier to remove classified information from secure areas […]
It is alleged that an online security system to detect suspicious use of Siprnet was switched off on computers used by the US military in Iraq following complaints that it was inconvenient, the UK’s Guardian newspaper reports.
So you release data to 2,500,000 human beings scattered around the world and are surprised when your (expensive and annoying) security measures don’t work.