By Elinor Mills
October 26, 2009
The U.S. Department of Defense ban on USB thumb drives instated nearly a
year ago will eventually be partially lifted to allow authorized people
to use official flash drives for mission-critical functions, according
to a top military official.
"In the future, we expect that a government-owned and procured USB flash
media, that is uniquely and electronically identifiable for use in
support of mission-essential functions on DoD networks, will be
permitted for use by authorized individuals," Robert Carey, chief
information officer for the Department of the Navy, wrote in his blog
"We are working on upgraded antivirus and malware detection, alert and
eradication capabilities, as well as implementation of controls to deny
network access to unauthorized USB flash media and revised operating
procedures for scanning and cleaning flash media," he wrote. "The bottom
line is, the days of using personally owned flash media or using flash
media collected at conferences or trade shows are long gone."
Thumb drives, CDs, and other removable storage devices were banned last
November after military computers became infected with a worm that was
partially spread by thumb drives.
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