Feeds

Home Office clumsily LEAKS data of 1,598 immigrants, blames 'transparency'

Nodding watchdog: We're looking closely at this one

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

The Home Office has embarrassingly coughed to accidentally leaking the personal details of 1,598 immigrants.

Applicants in the “family returns” process had some of their personal data exposed online for nearly a fortnight, immigration minister Mark Harper admitted in a written statement to Parliament on Thursday.

He blamed the government's transparency agenda for the error by, in effect, suggesting that such a data breach was a horrible side effect of Whitehall being more open with taxpayers about its policies.

Harper said:

Unfortunately between 15 and 28 October 2013 some personal data was available on the Home Office website as part of a spreadsheet alongside the regular data set in error. This was identified by Home Office officials on 28 October 2013 and the personal information was removed immediately.

The personal data related to the names of 1,598 main applicants in the family returns process, their date of birth and limited details about their immigration case type and status. It did not include personal addresses or financial information.

The minster added that the Home Office had confessed to the cockup by notifying the Information Commissioner's Office of the breach. Harper claimed that measures had been implemented to prevent such a blunder recurring. Bods at Theresa May's department have also scanned the HO site to check for any similar errors that may have previously taken place.

Fewer than 30 people visited the relevant website page during the period when the sensitive data was exposed, Harper claimed.

A spokesman at the ICO told The Register that the watchdog had been informed of the clumsy mistake.

"We will be making enquiries into the circumstances of the alleged breach of the Data Protection Act before deciding what action, if any, needs to be taken," he said. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
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.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
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.