Feeds

US State Department shakeup over missing laptop

No idea what it contained, and Milosivic isn't talking

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright ordered the Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security (note name) to assume responsibility for Department, em, security, from the Bureau of Intelligence and Research after reporting last week that a laptop computer containing sensitive information had gone missing from Department Headquarters in Washington three months ago. Albright characterised the incident as "intolerable". "Like several other recent lapses in security, this is inexcusable and intolerable," the Secretary said during a Monday press conference. "Such failures put our nation's secrets at risk." This is only the most recent in a series of Department security follies. Late last year, FBI agents observed a Russian spy seated in the courtyard outside Department Headquarters listening to conversations in a conference room via a bugging device. In 1998, an unknown man calmly strolled into the Executive Secretary's office and calmly strolled out with a ream of classified documents. And we don't even want to think about the 1998 embassy bombings in Africa. "We're talking about extremely sensitive information here," State Department spokesman James Rubin told reporters Monday. "The Department, in consultation with other agencies, is now engaged in an analysis of the implications of this potential loss." "Potential loss"? Two Department scapegoats have been temporarily transferred to "other duties" while the incident is under investigation, Rubin indicated. The Department still doesn't know whether the machine was stolen or misplaced. "The conclusion....that we have drawn is that the loss of this laptop is intolerable, even if it turns out to be just missing," Rubin said, echoing his boss's words. Albright plans to hold a Department conference on 3 May to discuss security issues. She said she will ask Congress to establish the new position of Undersecretary of State for security. Not surprisingly, Congress has decided to hold hearings to harangue State Department officials on security matters next month. Perhaps someone there will have the sense to point out that any information which doesn't absolutely need to be on a laptop absolutely shouldn't be on a laptop.... "Given the extreme nature of this information....obviously an intensive effort is being made to try to determine what happened," Rubin noted. Let's hope he comes up with a few answers before his boss's date with Congress, and, for her sake, that they won't require 'additional funds'. ® Related Coverage FBI admits loss of 'top secret' laptop Sneak thief steals state secrets in MI5 laptop Second spy loses laptop Third secret-packed official notebook nicked

Website security in corporate America

More from The Register

next story
Hey, Scots. Microsoft's Bing thinks you'll vote NO to independence
World's top Google-finding website calls it for the UK
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.