Heathrow airport investigates USB stick security breach

Discarded USB stick included security protocols for Queen's travel

A man found a USB stick on the street in London which had confidential security information about Heathrow's airports last weekend.

Classified information regarding security protocols at Heathrow airport was discovered on a USB stick discarded on a London street over the weekend.

The memory stick contained an unencrypted 2.5GB of data with 76 folders with maps, videos and documents, and didn't require a password to access the information, according to The Mirror, which was given the USB stick.

There were at least 174 documents with some marked as "confidential" or "restricted" but which could still be read.

It even contained information about the route the Queen takes when using the airport and security measures used to protect her, files disclosing every type of ID needed to access restricted areas, and a timetable of patrols used to guard the site against terror attacks.

Furthermore, the stick, found on the pavement of Ilbert Street in Queen's Park, contained maps showing the location of CCTV cameras, routes and safeguards for cabinet ministers and foreign dignitaries and details of the ultrasound radar system used to scan runways and the perimeter fence.

Airport insiders were trying to determine if there had been an "incompetent data breach" or if the files had been accessed intentionally, according to The  Mirror.

The information was passed onto Heathrow intelligence chiefs and the man who found it has been interviewed by airport security chiefs.

A Heathrow spokesperson said in a statement: "Heathrow's top priority is the safety and security of our passengers and colleagues. The UK and Heathrow have some of the most robust aviation security measures in the world and we remain vigilant to evolving threats by updating our procedures on a daily basis.

"We have reviewed all of our security plans and are confident that Heathrow remains secure. We have also launched an internal investigation to understand how this happened and are taking steps to prevent a similar occurrence in future."

Heathrow was affected by British Airways' IT outage last summer, which affected around 75,000 passengers. BA was forced to cancel flights from Heathrow and Gatwick airports. It later emerged that the reason for the outage was because an engineer had mistakenly switched off the power supply to a data centre and then turned it back on in an "uncontrolled fashion".

Picture: Bigstock

Featured Resources

Key considerations for implementing secure telework at scale

Identifying the security risks and advanced requirements of a remote workforce

Download now

The State of Salesforce 2020

Your guide to getting the most from Salesforce

Download now

Fast, flexible and compliant e-signatures for global businesses

Be at the forefront of digital transformation with electronic signatures

Download now

Rethink your cybersecurity strategy for the new world

5 steps to secure the enterprise and be fit for a flexible future

Download now

Recommended

Andrew Daniels joins Druva as CIO and CISO
Cloud

Andrew Daniels joins Druva as CIO and CISO

22 Jul 2020
University of California gets fleeced by hackers for $1.14 million
ransomware

University of California gets fleeced by hackers for $1.14 million

30 Jun 2020
Australia announces $1.35 billion investment in cyber security
cyber security

Australia announces $1.35 billion investment in cyber security

30 Jun 2020
CSA and ISSA form cyber security partnership
cloud security

CSA and ISSA form cyber security partnership

30 Jun 2020

Most Popular

How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

3 Aug 2020
How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi
Mobile

How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi

4 Aug 2020
How do I fix the Windows 10 Start Menu if it's frozen?
operating systems

How do I fix the Windows 10 Start Menu if it's frozen?

3 Aug 2020