Computer crash wipes out years of Air Force investigation records

Graham Cluley

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Defense One:

The U.S. Air Force has lost records concerning 100,000 investigations into everything from workplace disputes to fraud.

A database that hosts files from the Air Force’s inspector general and legislative liaison divisions became corrupted last month, destroying data created between 2004 and now, service officials said. Neither the Air Force nor Lockheed Martin, the defense firm that runs the database, could say why it became corrupted or whether they’ll be able to recover the information.

Apparently they did have backups, but ermm… the backups are corrupted too.

Remember folks, there’s no point making backups of your data if you don’t sometimes test that the backups actually work. That’s perhaps timely advice given the prevalence of ransomware right now.

(There’s no indication that the US Air Force’s database corruption is due to malicious meddling, by the way).

Update: Good news. The US Air Force says it has managed to achieve a “full recovery” of its data.

Graham Cluley Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.

3 Replies to “Computer crash wipes out years of Air Force investigation records”

    1. Hi Karl

      That was deliberate. I'm trying out a new "news in brief" format for some content on the site, rather than just full, more in-depth articles. This is rather inspired by John Gruber's Daring Fireball blog. The titles link to the actual news content that I am commenting on, and you get the full "brief" article in the RSS feed.

      I'm just trialling the format at the moment, so it's open to some tweaking. :)

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