Re: [ISN] "Top secret" laptop reported missing

From: William Knowles (wkat_private)
Date: Mon Apr 16 2001 - 22:37:18 PDT

  • Next message: Darren Reed: "Re: [ISN] "Top secret" laptop reported missing"

    On Mon, 16 Apr 2001, Darren Reed wrote:
    > In some email I received from William Knowles, sie wrote:
    >> For the life of me, I can't understand how the British seem to
    >> lose so many laptops with sensitve information on them, When I
    >> travel with a laptop I watch it better than some of my fellow
    >> travelers watch their own children, and my laptop isn't packed
    >> with national defence secrets.
    >> If memory serves me correctly, this is the second laptop reported
    >> lost in the back of a taxi. About now it would seem like a good
    >> idea to have the MoD use their own drivers shuttling personnel
    >> around over taking a cab.
    > And you've never left something behind in a taxi or on a bus/train
    > before?
    Actually no, I'm an American raised by two well traveled Canadians who
    made it a point to keep an eye on everything when traveling.
    Maybe I'm a little more paranoid of losing something but when I leave
    a limo, train, hotel room, or airline, I go through the checklist...
    Wallet, watch, spectacles, testicles, and lately... Laptop. :)
    > I imagine to many of these folks, their laptop isn't seem as a
    > prized posession as it is to us geeks :)
    Well besides the fact that their national security secrets are on
    their laptops, other personal information should be on them too, bank
    and credit card numbers, nudie pics of their girlfriend, unfinished
    novels. Stuff that would give them a vested reason to really watch
    that laptop.
    Another reader of ISN was thinking that they have them wear a string
    around their necks - attached to their laptops - kind of like how her
    mother used to do so she wouldn't lose her mittens.
    I suspect that this reader will be soon looking for a $100,000 NIST
    grant to better laptop security. :)
    > I've left god knows how many umbrellas behind on trains, usually
    > as a result of waking up as the train pulls into my station and
    > being in a rush not to miss my stop.  I even once left a couple of
    > O'Rielly books I'd just bought behind once, having been distracted
    > by other things in the carriage (books behind and below my feet
    > were quite simply forgotten about until I was off it looking back
    > as it pulled away). "Other things" being made of a much softer
    > `fabric' ;)  In reality, it is not that hard to imagine these
    > things being "left behind".
    Remind me not to lend you any umbrellas when you come to Chicago.
    In all seriousness, There should be no reason why laptops get nicked
    as much as they do, Maybe its the fact that while most of us secure
    and teach users about desktop security, it appears that there should
    be more time spend on teaching physical security of portable computing
    devices. I am not looking forward to the day when someone loses a
    laptop or PDA, cracks the encryption (If there was any) and publishes
    information that might compromise various operations and personel.
    While I am looking at this on a government and military side, This is
    a real problem in the private sector too, and it seems just recently
    products are now coming out to address these threats.
    Now if I could only buy one of those Mission Impossible briefcases,
    and keep really good backups.
    William Knowles
    "Communications without intelligence is noise;  Intelligence
    without communications is irrelevant." Gen Alfred. M. Gray, USMC
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