Feeds

Tax man praised for owning up to lost laptop

Encrypted PC passes leak test

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has become the latest organisation to apologise to clients as the result of a lost laptop.

A machine containing personal data was stolen from the car of an HMRC staff member last month, the UK tax department confirmed on Monday. The tax worker had been using the laptop for a routine audit of tax information from several investment firms.

The laptop held data on around 400 customers with high value individual savings accounts (ISAs) at five firms, the BBC reports.

HMRC said data on the laptop was protected by "complex password and top level encryption". The circumstances surrounding the theft are the topic of an internal investigation which may result in disciplinary action against the staff member involved.

HMRC said it alone was responsible for the laptop's loss. No third party contractor was involved, as has been the case with other lost laptop ID theft flaps.

Security experts said HMRC's voluntary disclosure illustrated changing attitudes and sensitivites about data loss reporting.

Jamie Cowper, director of European marketing at PGP Corporation, said: "With top level encryption making it virtually impossible to access the data held on the stolen laptop, HMRC had no real obligation or reason to report the breach. As such, this voluntary disclosure shows a refreshing level of ethical responsibility and commitment to its customers."

A printout of personal details and financial information of some people was also taken during the same theft, which happened on the night of 20/21 September. These people have been contacted by HMRC.

A woman, who passport details and address appeared on the print-out, is concerned she may now be exposed to identity theft. She remains highly critical of HMRC.

"This is highly sensitive material and shows a total disregard by HMRC for the nature of the information with which they are entrusted by client customers," she said. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.