Stolen USB stick contained police investigation details

Graham Cluley
@gcluley

Greater Manchester Police have warned that sensitive information about an ongoing criminal investigation was contained on a USB memory stick stolen from an officer’s home in Oldham, UK.

The officer has been suspended, pending an investigation, and the matter has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission and the Information Commissioner.

One big question which has to be answered is – was the personal data contained on the USB stick encrypted?

According to the BBC News report, it may not have been password-protected suggesting that encryption was not being used.

Aside from the issue of whether such sensitive data about an investigation should be left at an officer’s home in the first place, why isn’t encryption being used as a matter of course to ensure that – even if the…

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.

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