VA Reminds Thief How Valuable Stolen Data Is

from the perhaps-not-the-best-plan dept

Earlier this week, we noted that the Department of Veterans Affairs seemed to be hoping that whoever stole a laptop and hard-drive with lots of veterans' private info was too stupid to know what they had stolen. However, it seems they're doing their very best to make sure everyone realizes it's quite valuable. They've now put up a $50,000 reward for any info leading to the recovery of the data. Of course, should the thief hear about this, then what's to stop him (or her) from simply copying the data and then figuring out a way to return the laptop and get the $50,000? Not that security through obscurity was likely to work in this case, but it seems sort of odd that they were so adamant that thief likely had no idea how valuable the data was -- and then put a price on it and blasted it all over the news.

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  1. identicon
    Petréa Mitchell, 26 May 2006 @ 10:49am

    Re: The story that won't be told

    "Is the VA IT staff so overworked they need to take home work?"

    Most investigations into incidents where an employee does some boneheaded thing that any moron knows is a breach of security turn up the following:

    1. The employee did this regularly
    2. All the employees did this regularly
    3. Anyone who tried to do things by the book gave up because the tradeoff between security and productivity was too painful-- either because it got the boss breathing down their neck about not staying on the project timetable, or because the security process was just too unwieldy to live with
    4. Management, the same management that kept approving the written security policy, was fully aware of how things really worked

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