NASA fails to encrypt social security numbers and other sensitive information on laptops.
NASA’s Office of Inspector General has recently reported the theft of an unencrypted laptop from the car of a NASA headquarters employee. The laptop contained the social security numbers and personally identifiable information of more than 10,000 NASA employees and contractors, both current and former.
The stolen laptop was password protected, but lacked any kind of encryption on the laptop itself or the individual files. NASA has taken measures to help protect the affected individuals by contracting with a company to provide credit monitoring services which will cost NASA somewhere between $500,000 and $700,000.
NASA has a history of stolen laptops. A total of 62 laptops were stolen just this year, and 45 were taken in 2011. One of those taken in 2011 contained control codes to the International Space Station.
Original article by Carl Franzen.
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