Iran: We snarfed up “13,000 pages of data” from detained Navy sailors' devices

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total number of pages it takes to print the data out

This is not bad as an order of magnitude metric for information content (without compression, I assume). Specification of units (the phrase itself) is a bit awkward. 10K PP?


“If only the Navy issued phones that were encrypted so even governments couldn’t get in,”



So they’ve got old, undeleted, bloated browser history files that are mostly pr0n or gun magazine sites, a bunch of likely-excellent offroad bicycle trail routes, and more Kandy Krush than they can handle. Oh, wait, I mean to say that it’s common for the average USN sailor to keep full, detailed PDFs of circuit diagrams for the BLLS-1T advanced radar system used on the Starship Liberty.


And yes, it does appear that the government of Iran measures all of the extremely sensitive U.S. military data it steals as the spoils of war in total number of pages it takes to print the data out. Never change, Tehran. Never change.

I snarfed my tea :joy:

Stop that, I’m running out of tea!


If only there was a way to secure devices… this just doesn’t add up…


Perhaps not detailed schematics, but there would certainly be communications concerning old exercises, infrastructure, telemetry of all sorts detailing patrol routes, hazards; And from even that, much can be gleaned about the technical specs and capabilities of various ships/weapon systems/vehicles…

All solidly salable intel. And that’s not even touching the pics sailors take regularly inside their boats, and the stuff phones/laptops keep passively rather than simply delete.

And that’s from the civilian grade stuff; gods only know what they got from the milspec gear.


Maybe they could get Apple to improve the cryptography of their iPhones?..

oh, wait…


Why do Navy ships in the Gulf have jungle camouflage?


The more interesting contents are probably text messages and any location history from the phones. It’s possible that there are useful pictures as well.

A cursory search of google suggests about 3000 characters (or 500 words) per page. So 3,000 characters, by 13,000 pages, only actually gives us 39,000,000 characters. 39MB.

This is why you state things in pages. If they said they got 39 meg of data out of all that, you’d be laughing even harder!


“Plus we have all your photos of your naked girlfriends, and that video of you getting drunk on shore leave in Seattle, stupid Americans.”


Let’s see, that’s one picture worth 1000 words, carry the two, multiply by Avogadro’s Number, take the square root, subtract a few imaginary numbers, and… PRESTO! Pictures of the documents in Obama’s file cabinet.


I for one wouldn’t mind to get such files. Reading them could be a couple days of bliss.

But you can infer a lot of data from even the user-level manuals and rudimentary field service manuals. Had to do this when researching the Nike missiles.

Then there is the treasure trove in ELINT equipment - the libraries of target signatures. The receivers themselves are less interesting - the engineering tricks are fairly well known in the trade literature. But the libraries that let the software determine what is what, that is rather high value stuff.

We should have a public repository for such signatures. Would be fun and useful…


The Guard plans to publish a book on the incident based on international reactions and coverage of the event, Razmjou added.

There’s a joke about everything being monetized these days in there somewhere, I know it.

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That was the US sailors whose “navigational error” led to them approaching an Iranian naval base on Farsi Island? Sure it was an error. t was an error they got caught.

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I hope the PDF is required reading for all US sailors in the area, so that the next time Iran grabs some sailors and reads their phones they’ll have to include the full text of the original PDF in their next book.


I assume that this is strictly prohibited, and for that reason.

We’re talking about human beings here …