Data Breach And Espionage Fears Overblown: Petrobras Recovers Stolen Disks and Laptops Lacking Encryption.
A couple of weeks back I picked up on an article that had the Brazilian government mobilizing its intelligence and police forces to recover stolen laptops and hard drives. The devices stored data on recently discovered oil and gas fields found off the coast of
I pointed out at the time that I couldn’t see how spies would make use of any stolen data: oil fields hundreds of feet beneath the sea surface are not something you can steal. (On further thought, perhaps the data will be useful if the rights to pump parts of the field are auctioned off or something. I mean, who wants the risk of pumping the wrong part of the field, eh?) I also pointed out that all the furor would be moot if the laptops and hard drives in question had been encrypted using advanced encryption like AlertBoot.
Well, it turns out that the devices were stolen by four security guards working in Macae,
Ah, yes. The police in
Me: What happens if you get caught?
Answer: The point is not to get caught. Speed up, moron.
But what happens if you do get caught? If they catch up in their Golf zerinho? Well, if they’re honest police, you can explain you thought they were dishonest police; they’d understand. Chances are they would give you a ticket—which in all seriousness you’d have to fill out for them. (Again, with the serious face.) If they were not honest police…well, you’re screwed. Which is why you must run. Run away!
They weren’t kidding at all. I thought I’d share that particular gem. I am not sure if the above is still valid advice. (On a personal note, I’ve never had a problem with Brazilian police. But then, I have never been flagged down.)
Anyway, the question of who will police the police has been an issue from time immemorial for all societies. You can chalk this up to another one of those data breach instances because things don’t go as they should: surprising developments, accidents, etc. It’s because of such vagaries in life that you want to use encryption to secure your data. Especially if spies may be after it.