Lost on USB drive: Confidential data on every prisoner in England and Wales

Graham Cluley

The Daily Telegraph is just one of the newspapers reporting this morning the latest in a string of recent data loss incidents to have struck the British authorities.

The British Home Office has confirmed that a USB memory stick containing the unencrypted personal details of convicted criminals has gone missing. Infomation on the thumb drive included names, addresses, dates of birth and – in some instances – prisoners’ release dates.

The USB memory stick was in the possession of external contractor PA Consulting, a private firm working on J Track – an electronic system designed to help government departments monitor offenders. It is understood that the Home Office sent the data via email to PA Consulting in encrypted form, but it was then copied – unencrypted – to the now lost USB…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.