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NSA data reportedly left unsecured on Amazon server

Illustration via Pat Corbett

It was linked to a program called ‘Red Disk.’

More than 100 gigabytes of data belonging to a division of the National Security Agency (NSA) were left online on an unsecured Amazon Web Services server, according to a new report.

ZDNet reports that the virtual disk image was left on the server, without a password, and available for anyone to download.

The unsecured data was discovered by cybersecurity firm UpGuard in October, and the server was shut down, according to the news outlet.

The virtual disk image showed part of a server that was linked to a cloud-based intelligence project called Red Disk. The program was designed to allow troops all over the world to update and exchange information in real time, according to the New York Post. The data left on the Amazon server showed a “snapshot” of a hard drive dating back to May 2013, according to the news outlet.

The program would share drone footage, classified reports, satellite imagery, and intercepts, ZDNet reports, and would be accessible by soldiers with laptops or tablets while on the ground. Red Disk was never fully deployed in the battlefield and cost nearly $1 billion.

The data on the unprotected server contained private keys to access servers across the intelligence community.

Last week, the New York Times reported that the NSA’s cyberweapons were being used against them by a group called the Shadow Brokers. An investigation was taking place to see if the NSA was hacked or someone leaked the data.

You can read all of ZDNet’s report here.

Andrew Wyrich

Andrew Wyrich

Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).