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The FCO has its eye on Biometric Security

April 26th, 2009 by Agent Smith (0) In The Spotlight

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is determined to implement biometric security systems in British embassies around the world. According to a story published in The Register, they’re interested in everything and anything available in this security niche: facial, fingerprint, palm, iris, vein imaging and behavioural analysis.

The FCO has decided they’re going to also spend a significant amount on this new security project:  thet have budgeted 15 million pounds for a three-year period for the framework agreement for biometric software, algorithms and hardware, as stated in an official notice published on 31 March 2009 in the Official Journal of the European Union.

We wish them happy shopping!

Dark Side of Google: Payment card details of 19,000 Brits found in cache

April 2nd, 2009 by Agent Smith (0) Data Theft & Loss,In The Spotlight,security breach

Google’s web cache was recently caught red-handed, when payment card details of 19,000 UK based persons were discovered to be hosted by the world’s first and largest search engine. The stored data also included names, addresses, card numbers and expiry dates for Visa, MasterCard and American Express British holders. All anyone needed to do to discover the data was run the right search query.

The Register reported more on how the data got into Google’s cache:

The data was originally posted to a website server located in Vietnam, presumably in error by data thieves who wanted to sell it to other scammers. Even after the site was shuttered in February, the information continued to live on in Google’s web history cache until company employees finally purged it.

Luckily for part of those affected, many of the cards posted online had already been canceled, according to bank industry sources quoted by the Register. What about the others? Will they at least be notified?

Months later, consequensces knocking on breached door

April 1st, 2009 by Agent Smith (0) Data Encryption,endpoint security

One might think that if several months have passed since an embarrsing data breach and nothing has happened, it’s all cool. One can relax, mind their own business and forget all about security.

That’s not the case if we’re talking UK health authority. Namely, London-based Camden Primary Care Trust. They thought, sometime last August, that dumping PCs containing 2,500 patients’ names, addresses and medical histories beside a skip inside the grounds of St Pancras Hospital was a good idea. They might reconsider now, as the Information Commissioner’s Office has given Camden Primary Care Trust until the end of the month to improve security, consequence of its breaching the Data Protection Act.

According to the Register, “data on the obsolete computers was left unencrypted. The machines were subsequently swiped without authorisation and never recovered”. Given such gross negligence and obvious proof of being completely irresponsible, I cannot help being extremely happy they are forced to do something about their security!