Saturday, February 23, 2008

Watch out for that Freezing Data Loss by the Feds.

The latest threat to our security is both a technology glitch and a government failure.

Here is the Govt failure: "Nearly two years after an embarrassing flap in which veterans' personal information was put at risk of identity theft, federal agencies are still not doing all they can to prevent further lapses, investigators have found. Most of the two dozen federal agencies examined by the Government Accountability Office, Congress' investigative arm, had not implemented five federal recommendations aimed at protecting personal information." AP, Feb 2008. 

Ok, so as we fight terrorism, try to lock down our critical infrastructure, and protect vital information on Americans but the federal agencies just drag their feet!  We know that bureaucrats are leisurely. They will be in their job long after Presidents, Senators, and others have been voted out of office or retired.  Still it is not acceptable that the Feds are slacking especially after some MAJOR losses of critical information including millions of VA files.

The second issue is the discovery by a bunch of security professors that data stored on hard drives can be stolen by freezing a chip with a blast of cold air from a can of keyboard dust remover. Honestly I am not lying! You can read all about this amazing and simple risk factor at Princeton University http://www.citp.princeton.edu/memory/

The tragedy of both of these developments is, of course, that none of them are easy to protect against by consumers or even by institutions. These are MAJOR threats from systems failures or weaknesses. 


Of course, for those of us in the identity and information security industry it is lifetime job security! 

Stay vigilant.





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