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MP3 players could destroy planet: official

Xmas data apocalypse risk

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We at Vulture Central have been sitting nervously for a couple of weeks now awaiting the first in an inevitable stream of press releases tenuously linking new technology, data security and Xmas. In fact, we were going to have an award on Xmas Eve for the release which most spectacularly bolts a Yule data apocalypse alert onto a shameless plug for some security outfit.

No need to wait, though, since the quite astounding missive we have just received from Pointsec Mobile Technologies (experts in mobile security, btw) is unlikely to be topped by even the most highly-trained and expert PR bunnies.

The release begins with a seasonal ditty, which outlines the line of attack:

Christmas is coming,
The Goose is getting fat,
And workers are expecting,
MP3 and video players in their hat,
Security should worry,
When devices get plugged in,
For the mobile security nightmare,
Is that hackers get to win

That's right: the MP3 player boom is threatening your data security right now, if not the very future of life as we know it. Pointsec says:

With MP3 players soaring to the top of Santa's Shopping list, and memory capacities on them larger than ever with top end MP3s able to store as much as an average laptop, businesses and consumers must watch out post Christmas as they bring with them a very serious security threat.

There's more. Pointsec big cheese Martin Allen says: "While MP3s are aimed at the consumer market for entertainment, more companies have consulted us over security fears that their 'otherwise strong security chain' could be weakened, by a surge in security breaches resulting from staff using MP3 players at work.

"Some users see them as ideal for carrying corporate information, which can be very sensitive and valuable and if lost or stolen can have serious ramifications to a company such as customers personal details and accounts getting into a competitors hands, R & D plans being exploited by an opportunist, or passwords and PIN numbers being obtained by a hacker. The company could also be liable for contravening the data protection act."

Yup, the end is nigh, make no mistake. Just one incautious use of an MP3 player and your company is reduced to smouldering rubble while you languish in a stinking prison hulk off Gravesend for contravening the data protection act.

Enough. For the antidote to this shameless nonsense, readers are directed to our previous guide to security entitled: Your data is at risk - from everything. ®

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