Feeds

Security flap as Scottish council loses USB key

Red faces after local paper returns lost memory stick

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Pay details of scores of workers of Perth and Kinross Council has been found on a memory stick left in the street. The security lapse could have exposed workers to ID theft, the Perth Advertiser reports.

The breach emerged after a USB key containing 59 documents, many from the council's Environmental Services Department, were recovered near a bike shelter close to the council building at Pullar House. The retired man who found the memory device handed it over to the local paper.

Data on the key included 25 spreadsheets some of which included details of council workers' pay, National Insurance contributions, and overtime hours. It also contained health and safety reports, performance reviews, and budget information.

Information on workers ranging from HGV drivers to cemetery workers was exposed by the breach.

Inquiries by the Perth Advertiser established that the loss of the device had gone unnoticed, or at least unreported to police. A spokesman for the council thanked the paper for the recovery of the lost memory device, which he described as "an unfortunate accident".

The man who reported the loss described it as careless. "I would have thought it would be unwise for council employees to be going around with a pen drive in such a way that it could be so easily lost. I thought more care would be taken over such information.

"If I was a council worker, I would be furious," he added.

A spokesman at the council explained that council workers sometimes take work home with them on USB sticks. "Officers in this situation are all aware of the need for care and it would seem that this was an unfortunate accident.

"The device contained some historical information but much of the documentation was on the device in order to assist the owner in preparing some draft material for the new Business Management Improvement Plan," he added.

The council criticised the man who found the key for not returning it directly to the council. "The failure by the finder of the USB device to return it to the council constitutes theft and the council would like to thank the PA for its return," he said. ®

Bootnote

Thanks to reader Kevin Kenny for the tip-off.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.