Hackers aren’t going anywhere any time soon, so Russian spies are wising up and taking their most sensitive intelligence offline. Not offline like off the internet. Offline like off computers altogether.
The Russian state procurement agency FSO recently announced that it was interested in spending up to 486,000 rubles (about $15,000) on at least 20 old fashioned typewriters to handle top secret documents. After all, cyber security isn’t an issue when ink and tree are involved.
The plan is more sophisticated than that though. Every typewriter bears a slightly different pattern of type so it would be possible to trace every single document produced by the new bank of typewriters back to an individual machine. A source of the pro-Kremlin newspaper Izvestia says that the change of tack was prompted by recent major security breaches. “After scandals with the distribution of secret documents by WikiLeaks, the exposes by Edward Snowden, reports about Dmitry Medvedev being listened in on during his visit to the G20 summit in London, it has been decided to expand the practice of creating paper documents,” said the source.
Pretty clever, huh? With Snowden and WikiLeaks and all that jazz, why don’t we just switch back to paper here in the USA? Probably because it’s not expensive enough. When something don’t work in this country, we just throw money at the problem like good capitalists. Earlier this week, for instance, we learned that the Economic Development Administration in the Department of Commerce spent over $US2.7 million getting malware off a few computers.
Why not just replace all that buggy, hackable hardware with typewriters? [AFP]