MoD admits loss of secret files

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Baldrick66, Jul 18, 2008.

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  1. Data being lost again?


    The Laptop figure I believe is inflated, I would guess most the 'stolen' laptops are at least 10 years old and running windows 95 and are in the bottom of some QM's special stores locker. For stolen I would read forgotten about!
    As for the USB drives, most likely in the bottom of a few desk draws when Officers have moved Jobs. I would say the whole thing is more about poor accounting for assets more than dishonesty.
  2. Command_doh

    Command_doh LE Book Reviewer

    I was under the impression that the most serous breaches have occurred when MOD bod's have left laptops on trains and in taxi's - the old chestnuts. But no doubt a lot of lappy's and memory sticks have been thrown into deep dark corners and forgotten about too.

    But reference this blatant disregard for securing sensitive data across the board - why don't they just publish all out (not very)secrets on-line instead, to save time?
  3. It would be more helpful if the beancounters paid for all the safety features but they consider portable data devices as about important as Nimrods and Hercules fuel tanks. Frankly not their problem. With the proper investment in encryption it wouldn't matter a toss what devices were lost.

    Any guesses as to how much information leaks out on CDs, personally owned USB sticks and to home E Mail addresses as attachments?
  4. I have always thought that classifying trivia as Restricted brings the entire security system into disrepute. Resulting in people not following procedures. I see no reason why the majority of training manuals cannot be unclassified and available on the army web site.

    Also I have always though that disinformation is better than security. If I was in charge every military laptop would have a few hundred fake secret files on it and I would be deliberately loosing several each year.
  5. Hear Hear. Most of this current hoo-ha is all about poltical embarrassment rather than any real threat to personal, let alone national security. Is it really worth spending all that extra money to encrypt laptops that actually contain 2/10s of nothing.
  6. They're not lost, people just fcuk off with them when they move on and accountancy never keeps up. Removable storage is a management nightmare and shouldnt be allowed - however difficult that makes the working routine of staff.
  7. Not the 15 Panasonic Tough Books which all grew legs and walked simultaneously from a cage at DLO Bicester. MDP took it seriously enough to get an inclusion in the Police Gazette fto try and recover that little haul.
  8. I completely agree with Mobat, here in the DoD, (Australian for MoD) we have the same difficulties!

  9. Quite right. I think this explains a lot of the "thefts". I know I'm usually out of date, but I thought it was policy to disable all USB ports on MoD computers. I've never had a PC on which I was able to use a memory stick. Probably more difficult to manage and control on laptops.

    I did a trials stint at a QinetiQ site for a few months, when they were DERA, and it was common for them to charge the procurement of laptops against the material line of their MoD tasking. These would appear on the MoD inventory, but only with respect to that task. Once the task was complete, the laptops were forgotten about, if only because "material" was deemed to have been used. I know one guy who has tried repeatedly to hand back such a laptop but keeps being told "Not interested, we're now QinetiQ, we have no records, keep it or ditch it". It's no use to him - an old 386 running Windows 3.1. He just wiped the HDD and threw it in a corner.

    And now this has been spread all over the press, I can just imagine some jobsworth dying to nab the first person who tries to return one in good faith.
  10. 57 Laptops of various ages were handed back to my local CIS team just in the last two weeks, hence my original comments. Most of these were found in store rooms/cupboards getting cleaned out as part of a relocation exercise. Nearly all these assets had already been written off as 'location unknown'.
  11. Mobat, fake secret files - how do you know it's not just a big conspiracy and only fake stuff has ever gone out, deliberately "lost" on trains to see how heavily Great Western and Transport for London have been infiltrated???

    Maybe it's never really happened at all, but is clever spin so that Govt can say "under the new ban on computers in MoD we've prevented any data loss in the last 6 months, and saved enough money to cover 0.00000001% of one of our dropped bollox, so you can vote for us in confidence"
  12. Can't be arsed to jump on the , "outrage" wagon.

    24 hours rule. All change.

    Full disk encryption.............or have I just invented something in-potent
  13. I think we should start a rumour to that effect.
  14. Here we go again:

    BBC Webpage: MoD admits another laptop stolen

  15. Thats what has happened at my place.

    Why do people feel the need to carry around MOD laptops?

    As has just been said above, a flash drive in the USB port should be sufficent, so when 'a laptop is stolen you cant gain access, not rocket science :roll: