News
News
6/1/2007
02:54 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Web Security Breach Lets Cat Out Of Baghdad Embassy Plans

The computer-generated drawings popped up on several Web sites before the company and the government announced that they had been removed for security reasons.

The architectural firm commissioned to design the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad removed master sketches of the compound from its Web site, but not before details of the sensitive plan were exposed online.

The computer-generated drawings popped up on several other Web sites before architects with Berger Devine Yaeger Inc. could say "Oops!" Some images and descriptive text also remained on cached pages of the Kansas City firm's own Web site Friday, after the company and the government announced that they had been taken down for security reasons.

While the U.S. government has not commented on whether the design is the final version being built, Iraqis have reportedly seen construction equipment from the banks of the Tigris River.

Al Jazeera last month reported bombings of cranes and construction crews resulting in injuries. The news outlet was one of the many organizations around the globe that posted the firm's images. Thanks to the corresponding leak of text, there has been plenty of opportunity to learn the number of construction phases, functions of the buildings, which can be matched with the drawings.

The Associated Press reported this week that the 104-acre site will include residences for the ambassador and staff, a post office and commissary, a cinema, retail and shopping, restaurants, schools, a fire station, power generators, waste water treatment plants, a drinking water purification system and telecommunications facilities. A total of 20 buildings appeared in pictures and were referenced in documents on the architect's Web site

Despite a request by the U.S. State Department to remove the information from the Web site, a spokesman for the architectural firm told reporters that anyone who was interested could have just looked up the compound on Google Earth. So, if anyone wishing to harm U.S. government employees hadn't thought of it already, they now know to cross-reference Google Earth images with labels and descriptions they wouldn't have otherwise had.

A woman who answered the phone at the firm Friday morning said the State Department was handling all calls about the matter. A spokesman for the agency did not return calls for comment.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The Business of Going Digital
The Business of Going Digital
Digital business isn't about changing code; it's about changing what legacy sales, distribution, customer service, and product groups do in the new digital age. It's about bringing big data analytics, mobile, social, marketing automation, cloud computing, and the app economy together to launch new products and services. We're seeing new titles in this digital revolution, new responsibilities, new business models, and major shifts in technology spending.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest September 18, 2014
Enterprise social network success starts and ends with integration. Here's how to finally make collaboration click.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
The weekly wrap-up of the top stories from InformationWeek.com this week.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.