The ultimate guardian of Manchester Police data

A police force has been fined £120,000 following the theft of a memory stick containing names of members of the public who gave statements in drug investigations.

The unencrypted device with no password protection was stolen from an officer’s home and had details of 1,075 people with links to serious crime investigations stored over an 11-year-period.

The USB drive, belonging to the Greater Manchester police drugs squad detective, is also understood to have included details of police operations, potential targets for arrest and names of officers.

It has not been recovered following the burglary at his home in July 2011 when his wallet, containing the stick, and his car keys were taken from his kitchen table…

The Greater Manchester force suffered a similar security breach in September 2010 but failed to comply with a direction to order all staff to use encrypted memory sticks…

A further 1,100 memory sticks were recovered when the force offered an amnesty to staff with personal or unencrypted devices to hand them in.

Cripes!



  1. MikeN says:

    Big deal, we have federal judges who identify undercover cops by name and tell citizens to be careful.

  2. Alfie says:

    Over-confident simpleton cops are frequently a threat to public safety.

  3. msbpodcast says:

    <insert name of electoral body here> don’t know dick-all about cyber-security because they’re too busy chasing reelection.

    The same with the rest of the unelected gummint peeps who are lying staked out and spread-eagle in the friggin’ dirt with their buns up in the air just screamin’ “Do me, do me you bad, bad man” because they don’t know fuck-all and figure that this way they’ll get a bigger budget next year.

    Judges with no power of discretion, cops with no judgement, lawyers with no discernement, news people with no import; it doesn’t matter, they’re all clueless and we’re all fucked.

  4. Egon Ruuda says:

    The UK is a silly place and THAT we all ready knew.

    • Robert Leather says:

      Think that’s bad. How about a personal laptop left on the London underground with confidential level mi5 files on it! Or the dozen or so Home Office ones that get lost each year!

      • this is not my name says:

        It’s amazing. Even where I work all laptops have bitlocker encrypted hard drives so you can’t even load windows without the password. All the usb sticks are encrypted, and if we ever need to access the work systems from home, the vpn has limited access – and even for that you need a username and 2 passwords. If a small company like mine, that doesn’t have anything more sensitive than a bit of clinical research on it’s systems, you’d think police and government would be able to get their act together.

        • ECA says:

          In the USA the GOV. hires a computer wiz every year to Give them a heads up on WHAT TO DO..and fires them after 6months to a year..

          The PROBLEM comes with WHAT they have, and what they NEED, and what they WANT..

          Small story:
          IRS needed new computers to keep up…They got estimates and quotes, and submitted them to congress..About 3-5 years later they got the OK’.. So they GOT new computers BASED ON, 3-5 year OLD TECH..in that time the 386 went to the PENTIUM..they got the 386′s, the person that gave the quote got an EXTRA million DOLLARS..

          TRYING to push the WHOLE of gov, into the future is expecting a Squirrel to push a Ox cart..

          The FUN part is trying to get the CURRENT load of computers and CRAP to talk to each other and ALL be SAFE..
          I would not suggest windows.

  5. ECA says:

    Umm,,,
    YOU, are required to protect yourself..
    with all the Protections and backups and soforth…

    AND THESE idiots know?? WHAT???
    EVEN a small amount of security will confuse MOST people.. Many wont even TRY to unscramble data, if they cant figure it out on OPENING the files..
    Just change the ext..and most people wouldnt understand HOW to read it.. ADD an .EXE/.bat to it..and make a Script to MESS things up or CALL the cops at the beginning of the file.. would Screw the person responsible..
    SOMEONE PLEASE make these people ABIT more intelligent.. EVEN DOS would help.

  6. MikeN says:

    So do you use an IPhone with your whereabouts reported to Apple and Google?

    • ± says:

      I built a thin, close fitting metal case to house my smart phone (turning it off isn’t good enuff). A quick flip allows functionality. It must really f’ing piss them off that they have to work really hard to glean salient data (and nothing that will hold up in court) from my spotty tracking info.

    • msbpodcast says:

      If I worked for any three alphanumeric digit named security organization I’d want the ability to wipe my iPhone and to track it too.

      Are you faulting the iPhone for being secure?

  7. sargasso_c says:

    Manchester (England) is a tough town. One of the few places in the UK where police openly carry firearms. Will never forget being given driving directions by a friendly airport constable with full body armour and a silenced MP5 machine gun.

    • Robert Leather says:

      Armed police are not the norm in Manchester. Airport police are a totally separate matter. All UK airports have armed officers either walking the areas or within the confines of the airport. So your experience is unfortunately a false indicator.

      As for it being a suppressed MP5, I’m not sure that was the case either. They do tend to have the shorter close protection version. But it’s not suppressed. They’re not the SAS :-)

      I live in Manchester and have close ties to the airport.

      I can tell you that Greater Manchester Police cut back it’s IT staff to save money. That’s worked out well!

  8. nobodyspecial says:

    Leaving aside the detail of who exactly pays the fine when a public funded body gets fined (hint it’s you)

    The official solution to this is that they will be issuing “Manchester Police” logo USB sticks. Still not secured – but at least people finding one will know that it potentially contains confidential information and should be handed into the police!

  9. ± says:

    Cool! They can make a movie about this, and then when the good guy gets the memory stick back from the bad guy, all will be fine.

  10. ECA says:

    NO COMMENT HERE

  11. ECA says:

    NO COMMENT HERE, ONLY spam..
    THIS HAS TO BE INSIDE JOB..
    so WHO do you think did it??

  12. MikeN says:

    CNN found dead ambassador’s diary days after his murder, and top-secret details of who was working with the USA was left out in the open for anyone to get. Yet the eiditor complains about clueless Manchester coppers.

  13. Bill says:

    Oh ok.. I thought this might be a ad for Zig Zags, but guess not

  14. deowll says:

    The fine is bogus because the government pays the fine and that is the tax payers. I have a simpler suggestion. Do what Romney and Eastwood suggested and fire people who don’t do their jobs.

  15. So much for hi-tech crime fighting or personal surveillance of ordinary civilians on the street going about their business
    As Woody Allen said – the NRA was a criminal organization who gave out guns
    Then again what of Eric Holder re “Fast & Furious”
    Perhaps its the politicians who should be in jail and we should leave the bikers alone
    This goes to show you – its the guy you hire to run the movie projector – or in this case the cop with the pension you should be concerned about not necessarily the criminals / terrorists

  16. msbpodcast says:

    Could be worse … They could be Dutch.

    These guys just gave their cops the right to break into computers, install spyware, search computers and destroy data. These powers would extend to computers located outside the Netherlands.

    Now we have to protect ourselves from the clumsiness of Dutch cops wherever on the planet we happen to be.

  17. Hang such careless cops off the street!!!!

  18. marina says:

    how careless this cops are..