Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/12/07/tsa_redaction_fail/

TSA, HSBC in secret doc redaction oopsie

Your uh, data is showing

By John Leyden

Posted in Security, 7th December 2009 15:32 GMT

The Transport Security Administration (TSA) and the US arm of bank HSBC have both failed to properly redact documents they published online.

Blacked-out portions of a TSA document on screening techniques could be reversed by a simple cut-and-paste operation on supposedly sensitive portions of a PDF document. Security through obscurity is seldom the greatest idea, so maybe it's just as well that the TSA's Screening Management Standard Operating Procedure is now publicly available.

Meanwhile, HSBC blamed software bugs for failing to properly redact sensitive data from electronically-filed bankruptcy proceedings involving US customers.

The bank stated that it had attempted to obscure information in Chapter 13 bankruptcy proof-of-claim forms but that the information was still visible because of a "deficiency in the software used to save imaged documents", IDG reports. The issue involved forms filed between May and mid October this year.

Affected customers of HSBC-run lending subsidiaries, who were notified by letter when the problem was first identified back in October, were offered a year's free credit monitoring as compensation. It's unclear how many people or businesses were affected by the slip-up, which was publicly revealed after the bank responded (pdf) to queries from the New Hampshire Attorney General's office. ®