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by CSO Contributor

Secret Information Left Lab Via E-Mail; 9/11 Panel Pushes Reforms; Checking Account Fraud Is on the Rise

Jul 19, 20043 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Secret Information Left Lab Via E-Mail

Officials at Los Alamos National Laboratory report that classified information was sent repeatedly over an unclassified e-mail system. Last week the lab suspended activities in order to investigate the disappearance of two computer disks containing sensitive weapons information. The disks were reported missing July 7. According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, officials at the New Mexico Lab (which is run by the University of California) reported the latest discoveries to the Energy Department headquarters in Washington. Top Energy Dept. officials arrived at Los Alamos Sunday to begin their investigation.

According to the Times, the lab has three e-mail systems: one for highly sensitive in formation (red), less sensitive information (yellow), and least sensitive information (green). James Fallin, director of public affairs at the lab told the Times, “Without discussing specifics, all matters or incidents associated with unclassified e-mails and classified information have been properly reported to NNSA [the National Nuclear Security Administration] and have been properly mitigated to prevent significant risks to national security.”

Read the full story in the Los Angeles Times.

9/11 Panel Pushes Reforms

Members of the independent 9/11 investigative panel plan to lobby the White House and Congress to adopt reforms recommended in their report, which include overhauling the nation’s intelligence agencies. The panel’s report is expected to be released Thursday. According to a story in The New York Times, members of the commission say they have decided to actively pursue their recommendations given the gravity of terrorist threats the nation continues to face. Timothy J. Roemer, a Democratic member of the commission and a former House member from Indiana, told the Times, “We’ve said many times that the Congress and the executive branch will have to make serious changes, and I expect that the 9/11 commissioners will be part of that process.”

Read the full story in The New York Times.

Checking Account Fraud Is on the Rise

The convenience of online banking is also making it easier for scammers to get ahold of users’ bank accounts in order to defraud them. According to a story in the Washington Post, the Federal Trade Commission is warning consumers of this tactic. According to the story, some scammers are taking advantage of a banking practice that allows companies to write unsigned checks on behalf of the consumer for one-time transactions. Third-party processing firms are also to blame, according to the story. These firms are used by merchants to process transactions with banks. If an illegitimate merchant signs on with a lax third-party processor, then consumers’ accounts are vulnerable, says Rick Fischer, a district attorney specializing in security.

Get the full story in the Washington Post.