• United States



by CSO Contributor

Nevada Test Site Gets New Security Mission; GAO Points to Airport Security Holes; Hard Drive Secrets Sold Cheaply; One Year Later, California Identity Law Remains Low Key

Jun 09, 20043 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Nevada Test Site Gets New Security Mission

According to a story in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the government is preparing sites in the Nevada desert to build mock border stations, a simulated airline inspection terminal and a seaport—without the water—to train agents how to spot nuclear materials being smuggled into the country. The test site has long been the location for developing and evaluating the nuclear weapons stockpile. Details of the project are contained in a draft environmental assessment made public in the past week by the National Nuclear Security Administration, which manages the test site. A project report said up to 110 pounds of radioactive plutonium and highly enriched uranium would be used, with amounts “expected to be used on a frequent basis, perhaps daily during certain operational campaigns.” About $60 million has been budgeted over the next five years, and test site contractors expect to break ground in the fall on the new homeland security mission.GAO Points to Airport Security Holes says that a General Accounting Office report has concluded that the nation’s airports have significant holes in employee screening systems. The report states that TSA officials have not yet finished assessing, recommending or deploying technology, such as biometrics, to address unauthorized access. The agency is conducting a two-part pilot test of airport access in which eight airports were chosen to test a variety of technologies, including biometrics. Lawmakers and other critics have complained that the agency is stagnating in the pilot phase of several biometrics programs to identify workers and passengers.

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Hard Drive Secrets Sold CheaplyBBC News Online story today reports that a hard drive containing sensitive information on one of Europe’s largest financial services groups has been purchased on an internet auction site for just a fiver. The hard drive,which contained information including pension plans, dates of birth and home addresses of customers, was bought as part of research conducted by a security firm into what happens to lost or stolen laptops. Pointsec Mobile Technologies purchased 100 hard drives and laptops on Internet auction sites to find out how easy it would be for criminals and opportunists to get their hands on valuable company information. Seven out of 10 hard drives could be read easily despite being supposedly wiped clean. Pointsec also investigated the life-cycle of a lost laptop. It found that PCs lost at airports or handed into the police were routinely resold with all the information still on them if they were not reclaimed within 3 months.


One Year Later, California Identity Law Remains Low KeyComputerworld story, the law has raised overall corporate awareness of the need to have strong privacy protections in place. SB 1386, which went into effect July 1 last year, requires companies that do business with California residents to inform customers when their names, in combination with personally identifiable information, have been accessed by an unauthorized person. But it would be a mistake to take that to mean the law has not been effective, experts say. The very fact that the legal risk posed by the law has caused companies to enact protective and responsive measures” demonstrates its value, Erin Kenneally, a forensic analyst at the University of California, San Diego, told Computerworld.

Nearly a year after California’s landmark SB 1386 identity theft law went into effect, there has been none of the troublesome litigation that had been predicted to come in its wake. But, according to a