Location Of Theft in AQUA BLUE
URL Of Linked Article In STEEL BLUE or GREEN
Full Content Of Article In BLACK
Theft Description In Body Of Article in RED

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


The Government Printing Office maintains that no sensitive information was hacked as a result of the loss of 88 laptops that the agency's watchdog recently reported as missing, GPO officials said on Tuesday.

A Dec. 6 inspector general audit had revealed the government's publisher could not locate the laptops, including those belonging to several officials who handled sensitive data. Some of the machines were assigned to former security and intelligent documents employees, one of whom -- a product security manager -- assessed risks presented throughout the supply chain of e-passport vendors and suppliers. Another lost laptop had been assigned to an IG auditor who examined e-passport operations.

"GPO has found no evidence there was a security breach or sensitive information has been compromised resulting from the missing laptops discovered by the agency's inspector general," officials said in a statement. "GPO has recovered some of the missing laptops and believes many were reissued and not stolen."

The laptop belonging to the former product security manager is now accounted for, and GPO officials have confirmed that the computer's memory had been wiped clean after the employee left the agency.

In 2008, the agency began encrypting new laptops to render the machines' contents indecipherable if accessed by unauthorized users. In addition, the GPO has tightened the security of laptops already in use to prevent intruders from accessing their data if the computers are lost or stolen.

Officials acknowledged that the agency must do a better job of tracking laptops that are reassigned or whose hard-drive contents have been erased.

"The IG report noted the agency needs a better inventory control system once a laptop has been reissued or destroyed," officials said in Tuesday's statement. "GPO has embarked on a comprehensive process to improve our inventory management."

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