What’s happening: The House Ethics Committee announced that a document containing the names of more than two dozen members of Congress being investigated by the Committee—together with the status of the investigations—had surfaced on a part of the web known as “peer-to-peer.”
What it means: The embarrassment to the Ethics Committee caused by the breach and the risk to the reputation of lawmakers resulting from it serve to illustrate the danger of peer-to-peer networks—used primarily for the illegal sharing of copyrighted material. Sensitive information can be all-too-easily sucked up into a peer-to-peer network becoming accessible to anyone on the same peer-to-peer. Cyber-criminals regularly troll peer-to-peer networks looking for sensitive information (like credit card numbers) that they can monetize. Peer-to-peer networks are very dangerous and serve no useful purpose in the business environment.
What to do: Management must outlaw peer-to-peer networks in the corporate environment and must make sure the network (including all remote computers) is regularly scanned for the presence of peer-to-peers. Users also need to be trained about the dangers of peer-to-peer networks and should be strongly discouraged from using them at home.
New York Times: Ethics Inquiries Into Lawmakers Surface via Security Breach
WASHINGTON — The House ethics committee announced Thursday that it would begin full investigations into two House members … but a security breach threatened to make public the names of many other members facing ethics inquiries.