Essay on Leaking Classified Information and Its Harms

Published: 2021-08-11 21:16:55
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Vanderbilt University
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Research paper
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Leaking information is the unsanctioned release of any confidential information to the news media or the premature publication of information by the news outlets or the social media in the current age of technology. The information may be agreed by the involved bodies not to be released till as specific time or not released at all. Depending on the magnitude the information carries different harm is associated with any information leak. There are different reasons that can result in the leaking of information or different approaches that can result in information leakage. With the current advancement in technology, most of the information circulating us happens to be in its digital form which increases the risks of information leakage. This is due to the rising threats of system hacking or data information interceptions (Chen et al., 2014). Our information is always under threat of a hacker hence the need of having secure systems where sensitive data is involved. Information leaking is associated with major harm to the involved parties, and some of the harm that may result out of this can hardly be contained.

There have been different incidences over the past few years where information has been leaked and has resulted in major harm to the involved parties and the sector the information is associated. Different incidences will be addressed in the paper which touches on different information leakage and the impact it has on the involved people. Also, we will look at the possible cause of the information leakage. One of the leading information leaks was the Army National Guard which happened in the year 2015. This was as a result of a hacker accessing personal records of military personnel dating back in 2004. This information was accessed and leaked to the public by unknown hackers. This was a problem that one would not have expected. The personal information leaked could be used in different cases although the defense force has reassured many that the situation is under control, which I highly doubtable, how could the situation be under control while in the first place this information should not have leaked. Information security matters a lot; this leaked army personal data may result in different sorts of harm as addressed by different researchers of the situation (Harmanci & Gerstein, 2016). This information may be used to identify these personnel and used to harm their families in case a situation arises involving the personnel. Also, this information may end up being used for identity theft which may be used in the committing of different crimes in the State. These are some of the possible harm associated with the information leakage. Ethically such information is confidential, and it gets one wondering why one would consider doing this, unless they had ill motives which were specifically harm the army.

In the technology world, there was a leakage in the year 2017 before the release of the latest iPhone product iPhone 8 where its designs and other features were leaked to the internet before the official release date. This led to serious internet discussion on the design among other things which resulted in the delay of the release of the phone. The release of this information was clearly a leakage since the company had previously announced the release dates of the mobile phone as well as its features (Chen et al., 2017). If one is to think of the situation, it is possible to realize that the company had lost the element of surprise when releasing the phone since many of the people and potential customers had already gone through the leaked information. This had a major impact on the company since the expected sales dropped due to lack of a surprise element as seen. Such harm is financially related since the companys expected income was interfered with. Information leakage has been associated with competition over the past few years, and in this case, the leakage was rumored to be associated with the stiff competition that has been experienced between the big mobile phone companies Samsung and Apple brand. The information would have been leaked so as to calculatedly drop the company's customer product expectation.

Summer of 2015 the government of US was hit again by information leakage in the office of Personnel Management which is the government agency which is in charge of maintaining the records of all the federal employees and providing background checks for security clearance. The leaked information was confirmed to be information of more than 22 million employees which had bee affected, and 4 million of the record was interfered with and the data affected. This was such a great negative impact on the personal information of the personnel involved. Information leakage can have different impact on the involved people for instance in this case. Trying to identify the 4 million records which were affected by the leakage as well as verifying the remaining 18 million records for any harmful interference as well (Ritzdor et al., 2016). The leak was associated with a Chinese hack group whose intentions were not clearly identified. The leaked information as well would have been used for different reasons which would have had direct harm to the agency as well as the involved employees.

The internet has connected the globe into a small community which has interconnected all our devises, and the information we share over the internet is under the risk of being intersected by a hacker and used for the wrong reasons. Also, with the advancement of technology social media has grown to great sizes with little control and no supervision hence acting like the playground where most of the leaked information is dropped hence being in a position to be accessed by anyone on the platform (Alvim et al., 2015). All these issues have escalated the cases of information leakage, a good example of sensitive information that has ever leaked and went viral over the different social media platforms are some of the famous public figures private lives which led to serious lawsuits where the persons involved in the information were charged with invasion of personal privacy, but this did not change the fact that this information had already hit the public. The private sector has some of the most sensitive information in the world, and in different cases, we have managed to know the value such information can be sold in the black market, information regarding operational assets in the security department (Xu et al., 2015). Leakage of such information can lead to the death of multiple lives as well as different security conflict between involved parties.

Different incidences have been observed, and it is clear to see the effects associated with information leakage although in most cases its hard to get the party responsible or evidence to connect the suspect to the crime. This does not imply that the actions are justifiable it is wrong, and lawful actions are in place for those involved in such acts.

References

Alvim, M. S., Andres, M. E., Chatzikokolakis, K., Degano, P., & Palamidessi, C. (2015). On the information leakage of differentially-private mechanisms. Journal of Computer Security, 23(4), 427-469.

Chen, T., Ullah, I., Kaafar, M. A., & Boreli, R. (2017, February). Information leakage through mobile analytics services. In Proceedings of the 15th Workshop on Mobile Computing Systems and Applications (p. 15). ACM.

Harmanci, A., & Gerstein, M. (2016). Quantification of private information leakage from phenotype-genotype data: linking attacks. Nature methods, 13(3), 251-256.

Ritzdorf, H., Karame, G., Soriente, C., & Capkun, S. (2016, October). On Information Leakage in Deduplicated Storage Systems. In Proceedings of the 2016 ACM on Cloud Computing Security Workshop (pp. 61-72). ACM.

Xu, H., Jiang, A. X., Sinha, A., Rabinovich, Z., Dughmi, S., & Tambe, M. (2015, July). Security Games with Information Leakage: Modeling and Computation. In IJCAI (pp. 674-680).

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