Peer-to-peer (PNP) networks, a favorite method of transferring files via the internet without the need for an intermediary server, represent America's "new national security risk," believes Gen. Wesley K. Clark (U.S. Army, ret.). In testimony last summer before the House of Representatives' Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, he said sensitive information is routinely conveyed via P2P methods. A few hours' search revealed more than 200 classified government documents, said Clark, who is now chairman and chief executive officer of the consulting firm of Wesley K. Clark & Associates. "We found everything from Pentagon network server secrets to other sensitive information on P2P networks [that] hackers dream about," he said. Clark called for mandatory programs that would monitor the flow of such traffic, especially for sensitive government documents. "If you wait for the lawsuit," he said, "you have waited too long." The threat extends to the business world as well, said Robert Boback, chief executive officer of Tiversa Inc., a P2P monitoring service. "We found thousands of corporate cases, from banking statements, server passwords, financial data, public company data, human resources, medical records and Fortune 500 company minutes on compliance," he said. Miscreants use music files to mask the P2P transmittal of credit card and phone card numbers, among other things, others told the House committee.
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