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News

Lack of security on Royal laptop baffles Credant

Credant Technologies : 18 December, 2008  (Technical Article)
Unencrypted photos on Duchess of York's laptop the subject of an entirely avoidable security breach according to Credant
Credant, the military grade endpoint encryption specialist, says that the privacy storm over a stolen laptop and hundreds of intimate pictures of the Duchess of York's family, could have been avoided with a little IT security and forward planning.

'Newspaper reports that a laptop containing pictures of the Duchess, together with photos of her two daughters and ex-husband Prince Andrew was stolen from a photographic studio is a severe privacy invasion that simply should not have happened,' said Michael Callahan, Credant's senior vice president and chief marketing officer.

'Given the fact that the Royal Family was involved with the pictures held on this laptop, the data should have been encrypted - full stop.'

According to Callahan, the fact that the Duchess is something of an amateur photographer should have been picked up by the security staff working for the Royal Family, and encryption installed on her laptop as matter of course.

With a typical CD-ROM drive or USB stick capable of storing thousands of hi-res pictures in encrypted form, the Credant senior vice president says it is baffling as to why the laptop had to be physically taken to the photographic studio concerned.

'Even if the pictures couldn't have been securely emailed, an encrypted CD-ROM or USB stick is a pretty standard format in most firms these days, so it beggars belief that the Royal Family's security staff - who are supposedly drawn from the upper echelons of the Police and UK Security Services - didn't pick up on the need for IT security on the photos,' he said.

'Unconfirmed reports suggest that the laptop was password protected, but gaining access to to the data on the machine's hard disk is child's play to anyone used to dealing with computer hardware,' he added.
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