Years ago I worked for a government IT department. A vendor wanted us to try out a product. The device plugs directly into the Internet connection, and monitors every packet, in real time, looking for strings matching an array of string that you provide. We ran queries against our internal databases, and compiled a list of SSNs and CCNs. The vendor programmed that data into their device, which from what I can tell used an FPGA to perform deep packet inspections.
We expected that we might see maybe an email every week or two where someone accidentally sent that kind of information.
First hit occurred 12 seconds after turning the device on.
Second occurred .47 seconds later.
Etc. Etc. Etc.
Within an hour, we had overrun the quota on the network directory where we were logging this data.
We found hundreds of separate systems that were transmitting this kind of data without authorization. We were planning a massive internal sweep to find and fix them all, when the following came down from management:
Shut it down. Remove the device. Destroy all logs, emails, EVERYTHING. Offer the vendor a payment in return for signing an NDA. All employees required to sign secrecy docs (unenforceable at that level of govt, but still.)
I believe this is how the acronym SNAFU came into existence.