back to article Merde! French Prez palace blueprints nicked from cable layer

An unlucky cable worker lost the ground plans for France's most important government buildings when his USB stick was nicked. According to a report in Le Parisien, translated by Le Reg foreign desk, thieves grabbed the unnamed man's flash drive and other possessions from a car after he parked up to meet someone in the Gare de …


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  1. LinkOfHyrule

    Le Reg foreign desk,

    That'll be google translate then?

    1. LarsG

      Re: Le Reg foreign desk,

      Losing a key and changing the locks is one thing,

      But changing the infrastructure of an entire building

      Is entirely different!

      It's nice to see the French commit a faux pas!

      1. JMcL

        Re: Le Reg foreign desk,

        "It's nice to see the French commit a faux pas!"

        I didn't know the French had a word for that

  2. oldredlion

    "And no, the documents weren't encrypted."

    Nelson says

    HA HA!

  3. o5ky


  4. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Just in time...

    ...for the release of CounterStrike: Global Offensive.

    Come on guys, get these mods on!

  5. Jediben


    My arse. Sold to some nice friendly Algerians!

  6. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    Shouldn't we be glad to see that not only Brits fuck up with sensitive information? Maybe not.

    1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

      Cat's Pis*

      Only a faint aroma from Britain and France compared to what the Stellar Edge said about a certain compost potentiatorial whirler in a far flinging country.

      Oh boy I wish we had a Thatcher icon with her shit eater's grin.

  7. Erroneous Howard

    I still fail to understand.....

    ......why anyone carries sensitive data on an unencrypted USB device these days.

    1. NogginTheNog

      Re: I still fail to understand.....

      I also fail to understand why people drive without seat belts, but hey that's human beings for you!

    2. Callam McMillan

      Re: I still fail to understand.....

      Actually to be fair, most encrypted sticks tie you to a rubbish windows only piece of software and the hardware-encryption based ones tend to be hideously expensive.

      1. Fuzz

        Re: I still fail to understand.....

        hardware encrypted sticks are actually pretty cheap these days. You still need some software so you can enter the password to decrypt the stick. The software on all the ones I've seen runs on Windows and OSX. I guess some of the expensive models might also have a linux version.

        The problem here though is that the files were almost certainly once encrypted. Contractor requires plans of buildings, client sends plans in an encrypted format. Contractor decrypts plans and sends to sub contractor who places them on a stick and loses them.

      2. O RLY

        Re: I still fail to understand.....

        I bet the violations of the security section of their contracts will be even more hideously expensive...

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        rubbish? expensive? painful? windows-only?



    3. Vic

      Re: I still fail to understand.....

      > why anyone carries sensitive data on an unencrypted USB device these days.

      Because it is not sufficiently painful for them when things go horribly wrong.

      So they are offered the choice between the pain of learning how to use encryption or - not dealing with any pain at all.

      Guess which one they choose?


  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Genuine question....

    ... aren't copies of blueprints usually available from planning offices on request, except for military complexes?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Genuine Answer.

      er,not true,you would have a heart attack at what you can find going through some planning offices.

      you would malso have attack at some of the plans and data that i have come across on old drives out of skips,especialy some of the ones that come from a certain data destruction company that still appears to put working ie's into skips on a local industrial estate,prisons,government establishments and private sites etc etc have been found on one particular make of old scsi drives,when i used to come across drives that had sensitive data i used to mil grade destructer and then put a fire axe through them,just to avoid any come back on myself for others fraud and laziness.i even contacted firm involved and not even recieved an email or call in reply.

      when i last looked in skip at data destruct firm it looked like they where still putting complete drives in skip.

      i have kids now so i stay away from iffy sources of pc parts.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    When will the plans appear on wikileaks or pastebin? Mashup with Google and we can take a virtual tour of the police dungeons as well as the presidential boudoir.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wikileaks

      Will he be there so we can meet him?

  10. Glenn Amspaugh

    In a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard.

  11. Mr Young

    These USB sticks are everywhere!

    It's the machines I tell ye...

  12. John Sturdy

    So that tells us all something about the buildings

    Without needing to read the plans, we can assume, from the government's concern, that the buildings' security design is weak enough to depend on the plans being unknown.

    Ironic, for the country in which Kerckhoff's principle was first stated.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So that tells us all something about the buildings

      Not necessarily: it's a basic tenet of any security design that the less information is publically known about the physical environment the better. It shouldn't be the ONLY part of the design, but it should definitely be in there!

  13. Dan Paul

    No encryption at all is my bet

    Not that we'll ever know for sure, but I'm willing to bet that these were simple Autocad or PDF files that were never encrypted to begin with. It all has to do with the level of detail in the drawings. If they were simple circuits or one line diagrams then not much damage would have been done. If this went out to bid, there would have been so many people looking at them that there could not have been any real concern about security. Just one company could have had 10 people with access to the plans.

    The REALLY secure stuff doesn't have any plans to begin with. You bid from a "Narrative" of the work involved and guess from there.

    I can't say too much but I have seen plans for Federal Prisons that had less security than those for your local Starbucks. Some "private" bids are far more secretive such as a new Yogurt plant being built nearby. You would have thought they were building missile silos in the '50's.

    1. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge

      Re: No encryption at all is my bet

      That ain't yogurt in them there silos! Run now, while you have a chance.


  14. TaabuTheCat

    It's France.... "Encryption" is for the dead.

  15. Dan 55 Silver badge

    If they still had that 'Illegal to encrypt' law then they'd at least have an excuse.

  16. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Considering the palace

    Was built in 1720, it's quite likely that their enemies already have some idea about the location and layout of the building. However the plans could prove useful to either Wellington or a bunch of revolutionaries should it be necessary to attack France.

  17. Al Jones

    What exactly was the point of announcing this?

    It was probably just a random EUR10 USB stick with some random and useless files on it. Now the thief knows that it might possibly be worth a lot more than that, if he can find an interested buyer.

    If it was a targetted robbery, it'd make much more sense to replace it with an identical drive that had been "pre-corrupted" so that the user would just thing the drive had gone bad, and wouldn't raise the alarm.

    If they just wanted a handy scare story to encourage people to encrypt important information, they could have just made the incident up.

    By the way, didn't they used to have laws against encryption in France?

  18. Jeff 11

    Did anyone else read 'cable layer' as a wire tap?

    < me

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