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28 February 2008, 11:36

Home Office CD found in laptop bought on eBay

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A computer repair shop in Bolton, Greater Manchester has discovered a CD marked "Home Office Confidential" hidden between the keyboard and main circuit board of a laptop brought in for repair. Very few details are yet known, but it appears from press reports that the disk was encrypted, as was the laptop itself. There are rumours that the laptop may have been stolen before being sold on eBay. The computer and disk were handed over to the Police and an investigation is under way. It remains unclear why the disk was hidden inside it, and by whom.

The incident is the latest in a growing list of public sector data losses, which includes many branches of government. The situation has become so bad that the Information Commissioner has already felt the need to press for changes in the law. The public sector is gaining a reputation of being unable to provide adequate security for personal data, even though it has many new database projects currently under discussion.

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