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Prosecutor resigns over hacked PC

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A leading Dutch prosecuter resigned yesterday after hackers entered his mail box and revealed yet another classified letter addressed to the public prosecutor's office.

This was the second security lapse in recent days for Joost Tonino, a specialist prosecutor in white collar crime. Just last week Tonino was left red faced after it emerged he had put his old PC out with the trash. The hard disk, which should have been destroyed, contained hundreds of pages of confidential information about high profile cases, as well as his credit card number, social security number and personal tax files.

A taxi driver who discovered the PC decided to sell the information to a Dutch TV crime reporter, who last week revealed on Dutch television what was on the hard disk. The reporter also managed to open his email box. Although Tonino changed his password immediately after this painful incident, Dutch hackers were able to get access his mail box and published yet another letter by Tonino on a Dutch weblog. In this letter Tonino downplayed the importance of the information found on his PC, claiming "it was material of little importance".

Although Dutch Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner did not intend to prosecute Tonino, the top justice official decided to resign as public prosecutor yesterday, because he believed his dignity had been compromised. Tonino says he will accept another job at the public prosecutor's office. ®

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