Web sleuths find stash of US military surveillance folders about ‘persons of interest’ containing BILLIONS of their Facebook posts about Trump, ISIS and foreign politicians

Saturday, November 18, 2017
By Paul Martin

The files were being stored on three Amazon Web Services S3 buckets
They contained posts and comments gathered from Asia and the Middle East
Some were written in Canada and the US but had still been saved by officials
They contained references to Donald Trump, ISIS and foreign politicians
The files were gathered by CentCom, the US Central Command in Florida
Others were gathered by Pacom, the US Pacific Command in Hawaii
They were found by cyber security firm UpGuard which downloaded them in full
An internal security breach known as misconfiguration meant they were visible
CentCom said none of the information was sensitive but would not say why it was being gathered
They have added ‘additional security measures’ to stop anyone else from discovering similar files, they said

18 November 2017

Web sleuths have stumbled across an enormous trove of US Military surveillance files that were sitting wide open on the internet.

The three AWS S3 buckets contain billions of social media posts, web and forum comments and were gathered by officials working for the US Central Command in Tampa, Florida, and at Pacom, the US Pacific Command in Hawaii, over the last eight years.

They include posts about Donald Trump, ISIS and foreign politicians.

While many were not written in English or composed in the US, the files do contain some posts that were made by American citizens.

They were found by UpGuard’s Chris Vickery on September 6, 2017.

UpGuard is a cyber security company firm which previously uncovered another stash of DoD files online. They contained the resumes and work details of thousands of military personnel.

The new files were stored on an Amazon cloud-based storage bucket and were only made available to the public because an internal security glitch known as misconfiguration.

It meant that any Amazon Web Services S3 user could download them.

UpGuard estimates that misconfigurations are among the riskiest cyber security dangers and account for up to 90 percent of breaches, far outweighing the realistic risks of hackers or viruses.

The three buckets found in September were named ‘centcom-backup,”centcom-archive,’ and ‘pacom-archive.’

n one folder, titled ‘scraped, there were posts from the Canadian forum Connect2Edmonton which included comments such as ‘President Donald Trump what now?’ and ‘Anyone think a trade war developing along US boarders (sic) because of Trump is going to happen?’

In the ‘centcom archive’ folder, at least 1.8million posts and messages were stored.

The majority were harvested from Central Asia and the Middle East, Vickery said.

Some anti-ISIS comments written in groups for Iraqi anti-jihadi groups were discovered along with Pashto comments written on Pakistani politician Imran Khan’s Facebook page.

Pacom’s stash contained similar content but it was harvested from Southeast and East Asia.

The Rest…HERE

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