Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

DoD Report Details Illicit Content Probe

An Inspector General report reveals that Pentagon employees and contractors were investigated, and some prosecuted, as part of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement probe into child pornography.

A Department of Defense investigation has identified a number of DoD workers and contractors who used government computers and networks to access child pornography.

The DoD Inspector General on July 23 released a 94-page report detailing the results of an investigation that dates back several years. Some of the cases were prosecuted, while others were dropped due to lack of evidence. The Boston Globe first reported details of the investigation.

The report describes the activities of several dozen federal workers and contractors, many of whom are not identified, that range from purchasing subscriptions to child porn Web sites to downloading images on workplace computers.

Many of the cases described in the report are the result of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigation called Operation Flicker, which identified some 5,000 people who allegedly subscribed to child porn Web sites operated overseas, according to the Inspector General report. Operation Flicker was launched in 2006, and many of the examples detailed in the report occurred in 2007 and 2008.

Both employees of and contractors for various defense agencies, including the National Security Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, were investigated in the probe.

In one case, a DoD contractor admitted to subscribing to child porn sites, according to the report.

In another case, Christopher Stokes, an employee of National Defense University, was charged with purchasing child porn online and having pornographic material on his computer. In U.S. District Court, Stokes pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography and was sentenced in October 2008 to 60 months in prison and $12,500 in fines.

Also, contractor Dyncorp came across suspicious images when running McAfee's anti-virus software on Pentagon computers. A subsequent investigation uncovered 75 images of child pornography and evidence that the Pentagon worker involved had visited child porn sites, according to the report.

The IG report is heavily redacted, with names of some individuals, their organizational affiliations, and other information blocked out. But details emerge on how transactions for the illegal content were conducted. According to the report, several individuals used their .mil e-mail addresses, while others used PayPal accounts to pay for access to restricted sites.

The investigation included forensic reviews of PCs, laptops, home computers, and, in at least one case, a USB storage device. In some cases, thumbnail images on computers indicated that images were viewed but not downloaded. Also, some evidence was deemed not to constitute child pornography.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
7 Old IT Things Every New InfoSec Pro Should Know
Joan Goodchild, Staff Editor,  4/20/2021
News
Cloud-Native Businesses Struggle With Security
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  5/6/2021
Commentary
Defending Against Web Scraping Attacks
Rob Simon, Principal Security Consultant at TrustedSec,  5/7/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-4811
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-14
IBM Cloud Pak for Security (CP4S) 1.4.0.0, 1.5.0.0, 1.5.0.1, 1.6.0.0, and 1.6.0.1 could allow a privileged user to inject inject malicious data using a specially crafted HTTP request due to improper input validation.
CVE-2020-4985
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-14
IBM Planning Analytics Local 2.0 could allow an attacker to obtain sensitive information due to accepting body parameters in a query. IBM X-Force ID: 192642.
CVE-2021-20391
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-14
IBM QRadar User Behavior Analytics 1.0.0 through 4.1.0 allows web pages to be stored locally which can be read by another user on the system. IBM X-Force ID: 195999.
CVE-2021-20392
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-14
IBM QRadar User Behavior Analytics 1.0.0 through 4.0.1 is vulnerable to cross-site scripting. This vulnerability allows users to embed arbitrary JavaScript code in the Web UI thus altering the intended functionality potentially leading to credentials disclosure within a trusted session.
CVE-2021-20393
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-14
IBM QRadar User Behavior Analytics 1.0.0 through 4.1.0 could allow a remote attacker to obtain sensitive information when a detailed technical error message is returned in the browser. This information could be used in further attacks against the system. IBM X-Force ID: 196001.