It's a little bit of an embarrassing moment for the German military as one of its old laptops has been sold on eBay still containing easy access to classified documents.
What military files were still accessible?
The rather unattractive and bulky Amrel's Rocky II + RT 686 military computer, which still ran on Windows 2000, wasn't much to look at. However, when the researchers who bought the laptop managed to open up files that were still on the computer, they were in awe of what they found.
The laptop still had documents pertaining to the German military's LeFlaSys Ozelot air defense system, which is still in use. The files were meant to be password protected, but the researchers were able to enter easily enough by using the password "guest", and ta-da: they had classified files on the military's anti-aircraft missiles.
The Ozelot is a mobile defense system that was first used in 2001 and is still in use by the military today. It's used to quickly react against air threats, able to protect command centers and troops on the move.
One of the researchers from G Data who unlocked the laptop, Tim Berghoff, told Deutsche Welle that "The notebook PC we acquired contains extensive technical information on the LeFlaSys system, including step-by-step instructions for operation, as well as maintenance. Information on how to operate the target acquisition system, as well as the weapons platform itself, can be found on there, and, of course, instructions on how to destroy the entire system to prevent its use by enemy forces."
The files were dubbed as the lowest level of secret classification, but regardless, they should not have still been on a laptop that was being sold on eBay by a recycling firm from Bingen.