Feeds

US nuclear lab suspends secret work

Missing discs prompt shutdown

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Classified work at a key US nuclear weapons research lab has been suspended after sensitive data was reported missing.

The unprecedented stand-down at Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico, began at noon yesterday after two important storage devices went unaccounted for during a 7 July inventory check. Officials refused to say what was on the Weapons Physics Directorate discs, citing national security concerns. The shut down will allow the intensification of a search, already into its eighth day.

"Until such time as we are confident that we are addressing this issue, then all activities with respect to classified materials have been put on hold," Gerald Parsky, chairman of the Regents of the University of California, which manages Los Alamos told a news conference yesterday. "These breaches of national security will not be tolerated."

The incident is the latest in a series of security shortcomings at Los Alamos - birthplace of the world's first atomic bomb - that have raised questions about the competence of its management. Keys to a sensitive area went missing for most of a day last month. In May, classified material was reported missing but managers later concluded it was intentionally destroyed.

Los Alamos has been under the microscope since November 2002, when allegations about purchasing fraud, equipment theft and mismanagement led to a review of the labs' business practices and the exit of some of its most senior managers. Their replacements are now under pressure.

The US government has opened up bids to manage Los Alamos after the University of California's contract expires next year. It's the first time in Los Alamos' 61-year history that this has happened and a sign of Federal discontent over how the facility is currently been run. ®

Related stories

Nuke plant worker faces hacking charges
Los Alamos lends open source hand to life sciences
FBI loses hundreds of laptops and guns
UK military bans iPods - some places
Your data is at risk - from everything

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.