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Continued Ban of Flash Media for US Army, Navy and Air Force

thumbdrive1Despite a recent loosening of restrictions by the U.S. Strategic Command on the use of removable flash media, such as thumb drives, the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force have continue to enforce their bans until policies and procedures for the devices have been developed.

“The Department of Defense banned flash-media devices over a year ago due to network threats,” said Maj. Gen. Michael J. Basla, the Air Force Space Command vice commander. “These threats have not disappeared. There are a number of military and government agencies working to mitigate these threats. The Air Force will be a partner in these mitigation strategies as we work to allow the limited use of flash media for mission essential requirements.”

STRATCOM said the services and combatant commands must develop policies and procedures for use of flash media on their computers and networks. The Army will not lift its ban on flash drives until certain conditions outlined by STRATCOM are met, including using only government-approved flash media and operational practices to ensure that malicious code does not infect Army systems.

According to NextGov, while he did not provide any details, Navy Lt. Myers Vasquez said the service has an interim ban in effect while its cyber command, the 10th Fleet, conducts a review of the STRATCOM policy.

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