For 25 years now, eBay has been the middle man for countless listings. While most of the listings are for toys, video games, and beauty products, you can come across some truly unlikely bargains on the site.
Recently, security experts from G Data bought a German military laptop for $99 on eBay.
That may not sound extraordinary. The seasoned bargain-hunter can find better deals elsewhere, for sure.
But what made the purchase a real steal is that the item came complete with some readily accessed classified military documents!
Sure, the bulky Amrel’s Rocky II + RT 686 military computer – which still ran on Windows 2000 – wasn’t much to behold.
However, the hard drive contained data on how to defeat the “LeFlaSys Ozelot” mobile air defense system, which is still in use.
The weapon system is built on the Wiesel 2 small armored tracked vehicles. The Ozelot carries four Stinger surface-to-air missiles that could shoot down enemy planes.
That is – of course – unless the enemy knows how to defeat the system.
“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,” says security expert Tim Berghof, who was among those who unlocked the laptop.
Berghof says accessing the data was not a problem at all.
“It was easy to access the information,” he says. “The Windows login required no password.”