A New Zealand man named Chris Ogle was on holiday in the U.S. when he visited a shop in Oklahoma and purchased himself a second-hand MP3 player for $18. Happy with his purchase he put it in his luggage and forgot about it until he returned home.
After unpacking he decided to load the digital music player up with some music and proceeded to plug it into his computer. He got more than he bargained for when accessing the drive, though. Instead of some free music the previous owner may have left on the drive; he instead found 60 files giving detailed information about U.S. military personnel and missions carried out during the war in Afghanistan.
The files were very detailed and included information on individual soldiers, including social security numbers and female soldiers that were pregnant. Information on specific equipment deployed to U.S. bases in Afghanistan and briefings for missions were also available to read.
All the data was marked as prohibited from viewing by unauthorized people, but that clearly didn’t stop someone taking the drive and selling it on. Whether it was stolen or just sold without being checked we don’t know.
The news was broken by TV One New Zealand and Mr Ogle said he would be happy to give the files to the U.S. military if they want them. The Pentagon has started an investigation into the matter.