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Australia: Theft of Defence Computer Equipment
From: William Knowles <wk () C4I ORG>
Date: Tue, 5 Sep 2000 18:25:53 -0500



Minister for Defence

Phone: 61 (02) 62777800  Fax: 62734118  Media Inquiries: 0419 982482
Email: J.Moore.MP () aph gov au  Website: www.defence.gov.au

Monday, 4 September 2000        MIN244/00

Theft of Defence Computer Equipment

The Minister for Defence, John Moore, today said that he would be
insisting on improvements to security of Defence Department computer
equipment, following the theft of desktop and notebook PCs.

Over an eighteen month period from January 1999, 273 computers have
been stolen or lost.  Of the 55,000 desktop PCs used by 86,000 Defence
personnel, this represents a loss rate of less than one-third-of-one
percent (0.3%).

129 of the missing units are portable notebook PCs, which represents
1.8% of the 7,000 notebooks used across Defence.

"While I am advised that the portable computer loss rate in the
private sector is much higher at between 10% and 15%, any
misappropriation of Defence assets remains of serious concern," Mr
Moore said.

"The matter is being thoroughly investigated by the Department and
where appropriate, the police have been called in."

This afternoon, Mr Moore received updated information on the
possibility that up to 14 of the missing computers contained
confidential data. Investigations indicate that they contained low
level material.

"As I said when asked about this today, I am awaiting more detailed
information from the Department on exactly what all the missing
computers contained, but the advice I have received late today
indicates that there are no concerns for national security.

"As Minister, I am alarmed by the prospect of any stolen Defence
computers finding their way into the public domain with confidential
data on the hard drive.

"While I am advised the loss rate is considered very low by industry
standards, it nevertheless represents a breakdown in the area of IT
security and I am insisting on the matter being followed through.

"Internal security procedures already have been tightened," Mr Moore

"Communications without intelligence is noise;  Intelligence
without communications is irrelevant." Gen Alfred. M. Gray, USMC
C4I.org - Computer Security, & Intelligence - http://www.c4i.org

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