SIPRnet Laptops Stolen During Capitol Riot- National Security Fallout?

By Faye Higbee

SIPRnet is the “Secret Internet Protocol Router Network. Top Secret classified information is routed to those who can have access, the Department of State, and the Department of Justice. According to several media, some of the Secret laptops were stolen during the breach of the Capitol building on Wednesday. It has become a national security issue.

“Items, electronic items were stolen from senators’ offices, documents and materials were stolen, and we have to identify what was done to mitigate that.”

Michael Sherwin, acting U.S. attorney for Washington, D.C. to Politico Jan 7

According to SOFREP, on Friday morning Jan 8, Army Special Operation Command, USASOC sent an email stating that any secret laptops not accounted for at the ened of the day would be dropped from the SPIRnet network. They claimed it was just an “administrative move tht had nothing to do with the breach.” It is not known for certain how many of the computers were stolen, at least from the media that reported the thefts.

The Department of Justice has expressed concern over the theft of computers from the Capitol and has warned that some secret information may now be in play. On Wednesday, following the breach of the Capitol and the subsequent securing of the building, Senator Jeff Merkley posted on Twitter a video of the damage to his office which is located on a lower level of the building. In the video, he reports that his laptop was stolen.


It is unknown if Senator Merkey had a SPIRnet latptop, just that his was stolen.

Every SECRET computer is secured with a SIPRNet token, or password, and encryption in the form of a BitLocker key. In order to access a computer that had been logged off of the SIPRNet, someone would have to first bypass the password and then the encryption. If the encryption were hacked, access to any files saved on the computer’s hard drive would be accessible. If the computer were left open and logged in, however, access to the SIPRNet would be fairly easy.

It is common for a user to download information onto the computer’s hard drive for later use.

Access to the SIPRNet is controlled through a secure username and password or via a Common Access Card, or CAC. SECRET computers are equipped with CAC readers. When a CAC is inserted, the user’s credentials are verified. If a user is logged in and the CAC is removed from the reader, the user is immediately logged out and the computer is locked.

Accessing local files stored on the hard drive or gaining access to the SIPRNet would be nearly impossible for the average internet user, especially one lacking the credentials or a CAC with SECRET level clearance. Still, it is feasible. It’s also possible that authorized users — in this case, most likely senators serving on the Armed Services or Homeland Security Committees — could have left their CACs in their computers during the turmoil.


Sooooo, America, it is highly unlikely that these computers were stolen by Trump supporters. But it is extremely possible that other operatives used the rally to complete their own ends, and some supporters simply followed along unwittingly. If it turns out that foreign actors were involved in the theft of the laptops, then the US has a serious problem.

We may never hear the result of the investigation into these thefts, since it involved national security issues. The government will pass it off as no big deal and move on and do whatever they plan to do. There have been several arrests made already, including the man who stole Nandy Pelosi’s lecturn. A hunk of furniture is one thing, a secret laptop is quite another. A breach of the SIPRnet could be catastrophic.


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