Feeds

Citizens Advice coughs to laptop loss

60,000 records go astray

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

A laptop containing client information has been stolen from the car of an employee of Citizens Advice in Northern Ireland.

Up to 60,000 client records are held on the computer, which was stolen in the early hours of 5 December 2007. According to Citizens Advice in Northern Ireland, the data stored relates to people from the Belfast area who have sought advice from a Citizens Advice Bureau office within the city.

The amount of information held varies from case to case, but most records would include name, address, date of birth, and national insurance number. In a number of cases, some financial information is also recorded, including the client's bank account number.

In a statement issued on 7 December 2007, the chief executive of Citizens Advice in Northern Ireland, Derek Alcorn, said the organisation had informed the police and the information commissioner of the situation and would be writing to all the individuals concerned.

He said the data was protected by three levels of security, including a high level of encryption.

"It is highly unlikely that a criminal will be able to access the data, but people who have used Citizens Advice in the Belfast area should check for anything unusual," explained Alcorn. "We believe the information, even if it were accessed, would not on its own allow access to a bank account because banks require other security information and passwords."

He added: "It is a fundamental principle of Citizens Advice that people are able to deal with us in confidence. The theft of this laptop is highly regrettable, but given that the potential always exists for the theft of data, we have always sought to ensure that information is secured as strongly as possible through modern encryption systems."

In addition to writing to all those affected and providing appropriate advice, an 0800 helpline has been established to provide immediate advice to any individual. The organisation has also said it will commission an external, high level and independent review of its policies, procedures, and data protection.

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

Kablenet's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION
You thought you were all alone? Nope – change your password, says ICO
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Meet OneRNG: a fully-open entropy generator for a paranoid age
Kiwis to seek random investors for crowd-funded randomiser
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.