An unbelievable event has recently emerged: highly sensitive US military information came out of a fingerprint and iris scanning biometric device sold on eBay.
Sensitive US military data was found inside a shoebox-shaped biometric device designed to scan fingerprints and iris from the shopping site eBay, The New York Times reported. These data were uncovered by German researchers who purchased the device.
It is stated that most of the data coming out of the biometric device includes fingerprints, iris scans, photographs, names and descriptions of people in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to the report, many of the individuals here worked with the US military and could become targets if the device fell into the wrong hands.
The information of thousands of people was released from the devices
A group of researchers called the Chaos Computer Club, led by Matthias Marx, bought six of the devices on eBay, most of them under $200. The researchers did this because of a 2021 report stating that the Taliban seized similar US military biometric devices. That’s why the researchers wanted to see if the biometric device here had identifying data about people helping the US military that could put them at risk.
According to the report, they were “shocked” by the results. They found the names, nationalities, photos, fingerprints and iris scans of 2,632 people on a device’s memory card. Another device used in Jordan in 2013 was discovered to contain fingerprints and iris scans of a small group of US military personnel.
“It’s disturbing that the US military isn’t even trying to protect data,” Marx told the NY Times. They didn’t care about the risk or ignored it.” said. “Since we have not reviewed the information contained on the devices, the department cannot verify the authenticity of the alleged data or make any other comment on this matter,” said Brig, press secretary of the US Department of Defense.
The research group plans to delete personally identifiable information found on devices, given the sensitivity of the information. Another researcher stated that people with such devices are not safe even if they change their identities, and they should be granted asylum by the US government. On the other hand, it is a mystery how these devices go on sale.