From: The WIRED Blog Network —

The U.S. military has reportedly banned the use of all types of external, portable digital storage devices on its secure and unclassified networks.

As WIRED’s Noah Schactman reports, “The Defense Department’s geeks are spooked by a rapidly spreading worm crawling across their networks. So they’ve suspended the use of so-called thumb drives, CDs, flash media cards, and all other removable data storage devices from their nets, to try to keep the worm from multiplying any further.”

“In some organizations, the ban would be only a minor inconvenience. But the military relies heavily on such drives to store information. Bandwidth is often scarce out in the field. Networks are often considered unreliable. Takeaway storage is used constantly as a substitute.”

According to a recently-leaked internal U.S. Army e-mail, portable removable storage drive devices will be banned until they have been scanned and declared free of bugs. Government-approved devices will be allowed back onto ‘mission critical’ but unclassified systems. Personal devices are permanently banned from all U.S. military systems.

It’s worth noting that many corporations and institutions have already banned the use of personal removable storage devices within their walls to guard against virus infections and to protect against the loss of personal information or proprietary data.

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