Lessons from Wikileaks

The Washington Post ran an article on Friday that highlights some lessons learned from wikileaks.

1.  Data Labeling –  People need to be trained about what data labels mean.   At the State Department people added the label SIPDIS by rote.   Often they didn’t know this meant that the cable would be CCed to the SIPRnet database that is shared with intelligence officers outside the State Department.  This caused a lot of potentially embarrassing comments to be widely circulated.

2.  When you’re sharing information, the bodies you share with may not have the same security posture

  a.  According to the article, the State Department restricts the ability to use portable USB storage devices.   Bradley Manning did not have the same restrictions
  b.  State lost all access control to the documents once it was uploaded to the database.   They could only trust that it would be handled in secure manner.

3.  Behavior monitoring.  You may need the ability to identify abnormal behavior, such as downloading way more than any intelligence analyst should.