German Army Laptop – With Military Secrets – Sold for €90 on eBay

A decommissioned German army laptop sold on eBay for €90 contained classified military data, including ways to defeat a mobile air defense system in use today.

The laptop was bought from IT recycling firm Bingen by G Data, a prominent German software security firm, which detailed the incident in a March 16 blog. The blog was picked up by Computer Business Review.

The laptop contained detailed instructions about a tank currently in use that is equipped with a light anti-aircraft missile defence system known as the Ozelot.

This included detailed schematics and maintenance instructions for the anti-aircraft system, G Data found, in an incident reported this week by Germany’s Der Spiegel.

A spokesperson for the German Ministry of Defence told Der Spiegel:

“The old computers for the LeFlaSys were all discarded and disposed of with the arrangement for deleting or rendering existing storage media unusable. It can be assumed that an error has occurred in the utilization of the computer in question.”


German MoD
Credit: G-Data

Scanning the data on the laptop, they found maintenance instructions, schematic drawings and complete operating instructions.

At the top of each document is the German classification grade of VS which clearly marks it as sensitive material.

Tim Berghoff security researcher at G-Data wrote in a blog:

“The data contained in the Bundewehr (German MoD) computer are subject to only the lowest level of confidentiality. Nevertheless, those responsible should have removed the data carrier from the computer and destroyed it when it was retired.”

Worryingly for the Bundeswehr, not only did it contain sensitive information, but all that protected their secret information was the robust password “guest”.



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