Check Your Email For Nuclear Secrets

    August 7, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratory just can’t seem to keep control of its data, as a consultant dropped an email into the inboxes of board members for a firm charged with keeping such data secure.

Save me. Save me from tomorrow
I don't want to sail with this ship of fools.

-- World Party's song Ship Of Fools is very appropriate

At the Los Alamos Nuclear Labs, a company called Los Alamos National Security manages the efforts to keep sensitive information out of the hands of the bad guys.

The most recent episode involving data loss makes it look more like we’ll see a mushroom cloud hanging over the crater that used to be Manhattan before they get their act together in the New Mexico deserts.

Only a few weeks after announcing "extensive security improvements" at the Labs, news of another data leak has emerged. Techworld said an errant email contained classified data made its way to members of the Los Alamos National Security board:

In January Harold P. Smith, a LANS board consultant and former Pentagon atomic weapons adviser, sent a message containing classified data to at least two other board members. He used the ordinary Internet instead of a secure Defense department network. The message was relayed to at least three more board members.

The incident has been described as comprising “the most serious breach of US national security,” and has been rated as Impact Measurement Index-1 (IMI-1), the most serious level of security violation.

Those board members received security sensitivity training, something they evidently did not have previously, according to the report.

Techworld’s article also recounted a couple of other entertaining yet horrifying incidents over the past year. One Labs staff member took a laptop to Ireland, where it was promptly stolen. The Labs claim information on the laptop was of a low sensitive nature.

Then there was the case of the drug dealer being busted with a USB stick in his possession. The stick just happened to contain "classified as Secret Restricted" data about nuclear weapons on it.

Before we ask why the terrorists hate us, maybe we should ask Los Alamos the same question. An outfit from Coolibar and Hawaiian Tropic Ozone 70 SPF sunscreen aren’t going to help against a nuclear blast.