Feeds

Lag log leaks - Home Office contractor loses entire prison population

Secure database + idiot + memory stick

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

In a major coup in the government data loss stakes PA Consulting - which until Monday was one of the Home Office's favourite consulting outfits - has contrived to lose the entire prison population of England and Wales. Personal details of the 84,000 people behind bars, along with those of 10,000 prolific offenders, have vanished on a memory stick, it was revealed last night.

It's by no means the biggest of government data losses, but it shows style. Historically the prison service hasn't found it particularly easy to tally up precisely who they've got and where they are - leading to bizarre cases where we've been told that escaped prisoners might have been recaptured, but they can't be sure - so it's an achievement to get them all in the one place and then mislay them. And as it's actually the Ministry of Justice that runs the prison service these days, it wasn't even the Home Office's data, really.

Take that, Jack Straw.

PA held the data as part of a contract to work on JTrack, a project to manage Prolific and Priority Offenders (PPOs). It's a database made up of information contributed by police (details of arrests and charges, the Crown Prosecutions Service (trial outcomes) and the Prison Service. It has 2,500 users, and is intended to allow police forces and the CPS to "co-ordinate their approach to targeting PPOs." The presence of the entire prison population on this database might in that sense seem overkill, given that they're not all PPOs (although in 2004 the Home Office estimated that there were 100,000 of them, more than the total lost this week).

The data was held on PA's computers, in "a secure format" according to the Home Office, but was downloaded onto a memory stick and "for processing purposes." This was then lost. A search of the company's premises has failed to recover the stick, and the transfer of further data to PA has been suspended pending an investigation.

So that's at least one thing Gary Glitter can breath easy about today.

In its capacity as one of the Home Office's favourite consultants, PA was the development partner for the ID card scheme, working on "design, feasibility testing, business case and procurement". The Home Office spent £148 million on consultants on 2006-7, and forecast £100 million for 2007-8. From April to September in that year, PA was paid £7,163,806, and was indeed the Home Office's top trousering consultant for the period. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
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.