It seems like you can’t do anything these days without dealing with the bureaucracy of it all. Forms to fill out, regulations to follow, miles and miles of red tape…and of course, the ever-present and usually outdated technology. Everyone from schools to retailers to even the government has to suffer under the weight of policies and procedures.
Unless you’re a terrorist organization, in which case you can apparently toss all your information on a memory stick and leave it lying around an office somewhere. That’s the case with an ISIS faction, at least, and the end result was the loss of 22,000 registration forms for its members after a memory stick with the information was taken from the office of their head of security. These forms contained names, addresses, birth dates, phone numbers, even blood types on individuals who’d been recruited or volunteered for the terror organization.
According to the Guardian, “The documents, thought to be from a border crossing into Syria, are questionnaires of each would-be recruit. There are 23 questions, including names, date and place of birth, hometown, telephone number, education and blood type.”
Two different sources both claim to have possession of the information. A German intelligence agency acquired the forms, and Sky News reports being given the unencrypted memory stick after it was stolen by a former member who became disillusioned with the terror network’s practices.
While security watchers were aware of a number of the names on the registration forms, there were also more than a few surprises. What is known is there were specific numbers of US, UK, and Canadian citizens who’d signed on to join ISIS’ efforts. Members from more than forty different countries were included in the leaked data.
As with any data breach, the real concern now is what happens with the information. In a standard consumer data breach, citizens have to worry about monitoring their credit reports for any signs of suspicious financial activity; it’s not hard to imagine what the repercussions will be after handing over the names and addresses of known ISIS members and their families to the government.