Missing National Archives hard drive lacked any encryption

A security firm has hit out hard at US careleness in losing a terabyte of data which wasn’t even encrypted.

The National Archives drive was stuffed with employee social security numbers, addresses as well as some Secret Service data and White House operating procedures.

Andy Cordial, managing director of Origin Storage, said: “This is really bad news on the national security front for the US government.”  He continued: “What I find astonishing about the incident is that the drive did not have any form of encryption, despite the fact it contained highly sensitive information.”

The National Archives is offering a reward of $50,000 for information on the hard drive’s whereabouts. The drive was kept as a backup device, according to a question and answer document on the National Archive’s site.

Around 113 4 millimeter tape cartridges were copied onto the external hard drive, which only weighs 2.5 pounds.

NARA staff began a hunt for the missing device on March 24 and when it couldn’t be found opened a criminal investigation and told everyone and organisation concerned, including former president Bill Clinton, what had happened.

The National Archives doesn’t know yet whether the drive was stolen or whether it’s just found its way somewhere else in its buildings.