Feeds

UK military bans iPods - some places

In the line of fire

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Updated The UK's Ministry of Defence has banned Apple iPod music player as a security risk, Reuters reports. It thinks the high-capacity devices could be used to steal sensitive data. The digital music player is a number of devices the MoD will no longer allow into its offices in the UK or abroad.

But hold on: the MoD is telling the BBC that it hasn't banned iPods outright. "We have a flexible management approach in regards to iPods and similar devices that can move data from official systems," a MoD spokesman said. "In each area, the risks are assessed and, when appropriate, measures are taken to mitigate that risk." Etcetera, etcetera.

"With USB devices, if you plug it straight into the computer you can bypass passwords and get right on the system," RAF Wing Commander Peter D'Ardenne told Reuters. The MoD introduced the policy when it upgraded to "USB-friendly" Windows XP last year, he said

Gartner last week urged organisations to apply tighter controls over iPod players, which are capable of storing vast amounts of data. The analyst firm expressed similar concerns about portable FireWire hard drives, such as those from LaCie or Toshiba, and USB hard drives or keychain drives, digital cameras with smart media cards, memory sticks, compact flash and other memory media.

Several Register readers wrote in to say that Gartner is stating the obvious; but a survey out today suggests UK firms are yet to get to grips with the issue.

Around 80 per cent of 100 IT directors questioned by security firm Reflex Magnetics agreed that removable media devices (such as USB memory sticks) pose a significant security threat. But 60 per cent said they fail to monitor device usage. Which isn't very clever, as it means that a minimum of 40 per cent of the IT directors surveyed think they are a threat but are doing nothing about it.

USB memory sticks are becoming ubiquitous with 85 per cent of workers using the gizmos to transfer data between the office and home, and potentially transporting viruses in the process.

Reflex Magnetics advocates the use of management tools to enforce security policies. Its Disknet Pro tool, for example, can allow only encrypted access to USB drives. Yesterday Pointsec released a similar encryption tool, Pointsec Media Encryption, a product that offers similar features. These companies compete with host-based intrusion prevention outfits, such as PrevX and SecureWave. ®

Related stories

iPods are the latest security risk
Memory sticks are the latest security risk
Dirty rotten inducers - the law the IT world deserves? [criminalizing the iPod]
Did Rumsfeld ban Iraq camera phones?

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
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.