Read AFD-100318-001.pdf text version

Removable Media F.A.Q.

51st Wing Information Assurance Office Osan AB, ROK

Got a Removable Media question? Check here first! If you don't see your answer here, contact your unit Information Assurance Officer (IAO) or the Wing Information Assurance Office at 784-2626 or 784-4691. What is the most current policy on the removable media ban? Any devices containing flash memory (USB "thumb" drives, digital cameras, solid-state hard drives, MP3 players, digital audio recorders, etc...) are prohibited from being connected to any DoD information system (IS). All other removable media that utilizes magnetic or optical media (e.g. floppy disks, CD-R/DVD-R, tape drives) are acceptable for use on DoD IS. Per USSTRATCOM/CC, use of magnetic and optical media to the largest extent possible is encouraged while the prohibition of flash media is in effect. In general, if the drive you have whirrs or spins, it's ok. Verify with your IAO if you are unsure. Network Tasking Order (NTO) 08-320-001b has the most current directives and measures for the suspension of removable flash media; all previous NTOs were superseded (visit on SIPRNet for more info).

Please ensure you follow all classification guidance & OPSEC regarding this issue!

What are users responsible for when using any form of removable media? When transferring data from one IS to another, users must ensure that: Media used for data transfer complies with all applicable directives, to include AFI33-200, AFSSI 8580, and AFI 33-401. Data is scanned by a current anti-virus program with a definition age of < 7 days Data transferred to a CD-R & DVD-R must be closed to prevent further writing Ensure removable storage media used to move data on a higher classification system are not re-used on any lower-classification system and are labeled IAW AFI33-401.

What is a "USB drive"? A USB drive -- also known as a flash drive or "thumb" drive -- is a plug-and-play portable storage device that uses flash memory and is lightweight enough to attach to a key chain. When the user plugs the device into the USB port, the computer's operating system recognizes the device as a removable drive and assigns it a drive letter. These devices are categorized as nonvolatile, removable storage media. As such, all rules outlined in AFI 33-200, AFSSI 8580, and other AFIs that apply to media are applicable to USB storage devices. This includes AFI 31401 for marking and labeling. Portable USB storage devices are not normally considered a radiating device in the same context as a phone or PDA unless they have a wireless capability. How do I sanitize flash media once it has been used for classified processing (e.g. SIPRNet)? Currently, there is no approved software designed overwrite/sanitize flash memory IAW AFSSI 8580. That means if one of these devices gets contaminated with classified information, there is no AF-approved method to sanitize it. The device must either be destroyed, or used strictly in a classified environment only. If USB storage devices are used for sensitive or classified information, the device must be marked/controlled and used in the appropriately controlled environment.

Which USB devices can be connected to the AF network? Devices must comply with the following: Be properly labeled, government property. No personal equipment may be connected to the USAF network or associated equipment (i.e. Desktops, laptops, printers, hard drives, cameras, MP3 player, etc...). Doing so is punishable under UCMJ! Have magnetic or optical media (solid-state drives are prohibited ­ authorized devices have moving parts) Cannot have any form of flash (solid-state) memory in the device Must be maintained according to the security classification of the information, and properly marked Specifically approved by the DAA for use on an AF system Connecting any USB device to USAF information systems must comply with the DISA Sharing Peripherals Across the Network STIG, V1R1 (28 Jul 05) and fulfill the following requirements: Authorized External Hard Drives External HDDs that DO NOT utilize flash memory are authorized. There is no approved products list for external USB hard drives. Regardless of whichever external USB hard drive is

purchased, ensure the network security policy guidance outlined in the SPAN STIG ( ) and AFSSI 8502, para and is followed. References: AFSSI 8502, 18 Sept 2008 & Sharing Peripherals Across the Network STIG, V1R1 (28 Jul 05)

Why is the DoD singling out a specific type of media rather than focusing on up to date Anti-Virus protection and procedures for all media types? Network Tasking Order (NTO) 08-320-001b has the most current directives and measures (visit on SIPRNet for more info). What qualifies as a "Stand-Alone System"? Stand-Alone Systems are defined as isolated, NetOps-compliant computers at a single classification level that is non-networked, physically without modem, wireless, Ethernet, or other peripheral communications device (not just command-disabled device). This computer shall at all times maintain required DoD configuration IAW Information Assurance directives and Security Technical Implementation Guides (STIGs), including the most current anti-virus definitions and software patches. Further, Auto Run and Auto Play capabilities will be verified disabled before insertion of any removable media. Can I disconnect a computer from the LAN, copy information from a USB flash drive, and re-connect the LAN cable? No. Momentarily disconnecting a LAN cable does not qualify a machine a "stand-alone" or mitigate the risks associated with USB drive transfers. Computers that have had USB drives attached will self-identify to network administrators upon re-connecting to the network. Violation of this policy will result in unit commanders, first sergeant, and security managers being notified of user action and constitutes a breach of the UCMJ.

Can iPods or MP3/4 players be used on the Air Force network? No. iPod's and MP3/4 players qualify as 'flash memory' devices and are therefore prohibited for use on DoD systems. Reference: IAW NTO 2008-320-001B


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