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News

Lack of encryption results in Czech data loss

Credant Technologies : 24 April, 2009  (Technical Article)
Data loss at the Czech summit could compromise personal information for the 200 attendees according to Credant Technologies
The data leak at the EU/US summit which has just taken place in the Czech Republic - and which has reportedly resulted in Finland's Prime Minister changing his passport - should not have happened, says Credant Technologies, the military grade encryption specialist.

'For this data leak - apparently through a hotel computer - to have happened at such a high level event is severely embarrassing for the Czech government, but you really do have to ask yourself why the data wasn't encrypted from prying eyes,' said Michael Callahan, Credant's senior vice president.

'The situation has become sufficiently serious for the Czech Office for the Protection of Personal Data to start an investigation, but this is too late, as the leak could mean the personal data on the 200 participants at this high level event has fallen into the hands of terrorists,' he added.

According to Callahan, it is now almost certain that the US government security agencies have gone into overdrive following the data leakage, since President Obama - along with the highest representatives of all 27 European Union countries - attended the informal summit.

Igor Nemec, director of the Czech data protection office, has been quoted that the offenders behind the data loss will be fined if they are tracked down but, says Credant, the culprits are unlikely to be caught at this late stage.

This is, says Callahan, political posturing on the part of a highly embarrassed Czech government.

The sad fact is, he explained, that had the data been encrypted and accessed only on an authenticated need-to-know basis by specific individuals, then the leak would simply not have happened.

The fiasco, he says, only serves to boost European's security image - or rather lack of it - in US security circles.

'With the flight details and passport numbers of around 200 of the world's highest ranking officials having apparently walked out of the hotel door, this is a security faux pas situation of the highest order,' said Callahan.

'Heads will undoubtedly roll because of this data leak, but the case brings home the fact that no-one is immune to stupidity. Anyone involved with the storage of private data should take note of this fiasco and improve their own data security as a result,' he added.
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