For Sale on eBay: A Military Database of Fingerprints and Iris Scans | Technology

For Sale on eBay: A Military Database of Fingerprints and Iris Scans | Technology

“This could not have occurred,” Mr. Baker stated. “It’s a catastrophe for the folks whose information is uncovered. Within the worst circumstances, the implications might be deadly.”

What we take into account earlier than utilizing nameless sources. Do the sources know the data? What’s their motivation for telling us? Have they proved dependable up to now? Can we corroborate the data? Even with these questions glad, The Instances makes use of nameless sources as a final resort. The reporter and at the very least one editor know the identification of the supply.

Of the six units the researchers purchased on eBay — 4 SEEKs and two HIIDEs, for Handheld Interagency Identification Detection Tools — two of the SEEK II units had delicate information on them. The second SEEK II, with location metadata displaying it was final utilized in Jordan in 2013, appeared to comprise the fingerprints and iris scans of a small group of U.S. service members.

When reached by The Instances, one American whose biometric scan was discovered on the gadget confirmed that the information was probably his. He beforehand served as a Marine intelligence specialist and stated his information, and that of some other American discovered on these units, was most definitely collected throughout a army coaching course. The person, who spoke on the situation of anonymity as a result of he nonetheless works within the intelligence discipline and was not approved to talk publicly, requested that his biometric file be deleted.

Navy officers stated the one cause these units would have information on People could be their use throughout coaching periods, a standard observe to organize for using them within the discipline.

In response to the Protection Logistics Company, which handles the disposal of hundreds of thousands of {dollars} of extra Pentagon matériel every year, units just like the SEEK II and the HIIDE by no means ought to have made it to the open market — a lot much less an internet public sale website like eBay. As a substitute, all biometric assortment gear is meant to be destroyed on website when now not wanted by army personnel, as are different digital units that when held delicate operational data.

How eBay sellers obtained these units is unclear. The gadget with the two,632 profiles was bought by Rhino Commerce, a surplus gear firm in Texas. The corporate’s treasurer, David Mendez, stated it had purchased the SEEK II at an public sale of presidency gear and didn’t notice a decommissioned army gadget would have delicate information on it.

“I hope we didn’t do something fallacious,” he stated.

The SEEK II with the American troops’ data got here from Tech-Mart, an eBay vendor in Ohio. Tech-Mart’s proprietor, Ayman Arafa, declined to say how he had acquired it, or two different units he bought to the researchers.

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