This week saw the story of the Top Secret Al Queda Security Report being left on a train by some top knob security chappie who is now on gardening leave.
There is intense rivalry between the civilian police security folk & the James Bond Spooks, not wanting to be outdone the Assistant Chief Constable of Avon & Somerset, Rob Beckley, has arranged for his 15 minutes of fame by having his job laptop stolen from his chauffered car whilst attending an event in London.1
Of course we have no idea what was on the laptop, presumably emails from the Home Office and lots of meaningless statistics, and there is no doubt that the official line will be that ‘at no stage was security compromised’. We do know that the laptop is used to access all the force’s computer networks & systems. Whilst chiefs probably haven’t got a clue how to use the force systems (they have staff officers for that), they can, in theory, log in to, for instance, the Command & Control system which gives access to the details of every job the force deals with, together with all the personal information contained therein on the community of Avon & Somerset & beyond.
Rumours are that the laptop wasn’t encrypted, it was probably accessed by typing in the Chief’s favourite football team or his wife’s date of birth into the password box (it’s what we all do).
The report in the Bristol News describes the theft as a ‘distraction’ theft while the laptop was in car & the chief’s driver was ‘watching’ it. This is a technical term and means that a thief sees something on display that is easily nickable, they walk up to the owner and point behind them saying ‘well, look at that!’ When the person/sap turns round to look, they pick up the property & run away.
Oh, and Beds Police’s website is still down…
- My thanks to a correspondent for the heads-up on this story [↩]