Feeds

Manchester plods cop £120k fine for USB-stick-inna-wallet data gaffe

Serious Serious Crime crime 'sends shivers down spine'

Top three mobile application threats

The Greater Manchester Police Force have paid a £120,000 fine after losing the details of more than a thousand people under investigation for serious drugs crime.

The personal details were kept on an unencrypted memory stick with no password protection, belonging to an officer with the Serious Crime Division team. Kept in the officer's wallet it went AWOL in July 2011 after the wallet was swiped from his kitchen table when his home was burgled.

It contained the details of 1,075 people who had been investigated by the drugs squad over the past 11 years.

The weight of the fine from the Information Commissioners Office reflects endemic data security problems that the ICO found in the Manchester police force: officers regularly used unencrypted USB sticks and there were few checks on what data could be downloaded and taken out of the office.

A similar security breach in September 2010 had prompted no change in culture, the ICO said. In 2010 a businessman found a mislaid Greater Manchester Police branded memory stick that contained sensitive anti-terrorism materials.

And officers were still not sufficiently trained in data security, the ICO found.

A unencrypted stick amnesty by the force's data controller after the breach got back a haul of 1,100 devices.

David Smith, ICO Director of Data Protection, said:

This was truly sensitive personal data, left in the hands of a burglar by poor data security. The consequences of this type of breach really do send a shiver down the spine.

It should have been obvious to the force that the type of information stored on its computers meant proper data security was needed. Instead, it has taken a serious data breach to prompt it into action.

®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
Canadian taxman says hundreds pierced by Heartbleed SSL skewer
900 social insurance numbers nicked, says revenue watchman
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
Burnt out on patches this month? Oracle's got 104 MORE fixes for you
Mass patch for issues across its software catalog
Reddit users discover iOS malware threat
'Unflod Baby Panda' looks to snatch Apple IDs
Oracle working on at least 13 Heartbleed fixes
Big Red's cloud is safe and Oracle Linux 6 has been patched, but Java has some issues
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.