Gigabytes of sensitive Air Force documents reportedly discovered by security firm

laptop-wireless-chip.jpg

U.S. Air Force Airman Matthew Kennison, a client systems technician with the 35th Communications Squadron, removes a wireless card from a laptop computer at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Feb. 10, 2016. When laptops need access to the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network, client systems technicians remove the wireless cards, ensuring safety for classified information. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jordyn Fetter)

Gigabytes of sensitive Air Force documents have reportedly been discovered after they were left unsecured online, according to The Hill. The documents were left visible and without password protection.

The security firm MacKeeper came across an Air Force lieutenant colonel’s misconfigured backup hard drive. MacKeeper notified the Air Force and the drive has since been taken down. MacKeeper worked with technology news site ZDNet to investigate the security lapse, which is believed to be substantial. However, the documents do not appear to have been classified.

The content of the documents included the personally identifiable information of 4,000 service members, clearance renewal applications for two 2-star generals, a lieutenant colonel’s password and username for the Joint Personnel Adjudication System, and passport and social security numbers for several celebrities — including Channing Tatum, who has visited military installations.

Another spreadsheet listed the names of personnel under investigation. Allegations ranged from “abuses of power and substantiated claims of wrongdoing” to “discrimination and sexual harassment.” There is also an official accused of “accepting $50k a year from a sports commission that was supposedly funneled into the National Guard.”

There is also concern that the information in the documents could be used to blackmail or impersonate these service members.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story misstated the rank of the backup hard drive’s owner. The owner was a lieutenant colonel.