Three hard drives stolen from RAF

In yet another government data breach, three hard drives containing personnel information were stolen from a military base.

The personal data of serving and former staff of the Royal Air Force (RAF) has been stolen, according to the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The computer hard drives were stored at the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency at RAF Innsworth in Gloucestershire.

Two of the drives contained sensitive personal data, while the third drive did not contain any personal data, according to the MoD. Details of up to 50,000 past and present personnel are at risk.

The individual documents were classified as no higher than "restricted."

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

In a statement, the MoD said: "The theft of these hard drives from a secure location, where they were subject to physical protection standards consistent with the Data Handling Review, is being treated with great seriousness."

Security analysts were quick to slam the use of portable drives. "You can't get much higher security than an RAF base, but even armed guards are not enough to protect data on portable hard drives," said Nick Lowe, Check Point's spokesperson.

Andrew Clarke, of Lumension Security, cautioned that the drives may have been stolen to order. "In this case, the USB portable hard disk drives will not have fit easily into the pocket of the thief. Considering that USB hard drives are the size of small shoe boxes, it is likely that the thief will have had a reason for being inside the organisation," he said.

This is only the latest in security breaches for the British government. Just last week, a courier lost a disk holding records on over 11,000 teachers. This all comes less than a year after one of the largest data breaches in history, where the HMRC lost data on 25 million people.

A recent survey showed that 89 per cent of Brits want data breaches to be a criminal offence. This makes sense, as less than half of all companies inform their customers of their data breaches.

Featured Resources

2,000 days: the CIO's world in 2025

What the role of the CIO will look like in five years time

Download now

The workers' experience report

How technology can spark motivation, enhance productivity and strengthen security

Download now

6 best practices for escaping ransomware

A complete guide to tackling ransomware attacks

Download now

The IT roadmap from modernisation to innovation with consistent hybrid cloud

A guide to a modern, cloud-enabled IT infrastructure

Download now


internet security

Avast and AVG extensions pulled from Chrome

19 Dec 2019

Google confirms Android cameras can be hijacked to spy on you

20 Nov 2019

Most Popular

data governance

Brexit security talks under threat after UK accused of illegally copying Schengen data

10 Jan 2020
cyber security

If not passwords then what?

8 Jan 2020
Policy & legislation

GDPR and Brexit: How will one affect the other?

9 Jan 2020
web browser

What is HTTP error 503 and how do you fix it?

7 Jan 2020