back to article Europol cop took terror dossier home, flashed it to the web accidentally

An investigator at Europe's FBI Europol took home a USB stick packed with terror probe documents and accidentally spilled the files on the internet. Dutch telly documentary series Zembla reported this month that about 700 pages of analysis on terrorist groups and related sensitive information were exposed online as a result of …

  1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge


    Mark Hickman, WinMagic's chief operating office, commented: “If organisations like Europol which are so tight on security can make mistakes, it brings into stark reality how much inherent risk there is for businesses if the right approach is not taken to educating employees, as well as having the right technology, to protect data at rest.”

    Are you listening Mrs May? How many years' worth of UK browsing history fits on a USB stick?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Security?

      Well, considering that you really mean is keys to ISPs to redirect anyones web traffic, I'd say a flash drive is high tech overkill How about printing them on a Christmas card...

      "Santa Baby,... a platinum mine."

    2. Tom Paine Silver badge

      Re: Security?

      It may surprise you to hear this, but it's possible to turn off USB support for mass storage devices. Even my current employer does this, and they're not exactly security-posture-of-the-month winners.

  2. Warm Braw Silver badge

    An experienced police officer

    Seems possible it's not a first offence, then. Shouldn't all of his electronic devices have been confiscated and scoured for evidence? Or perhaps GCHQ should have watched and takens notes and photographs as a computer expert used angle grinders and other tools to pulverise the hard drives and memory chips. Or is that a different law?

  3. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    I was going to congratulat Europol on firing the dope in question...

    But then I read further and saw that said officer has been returned to the national law enforcement agency he escaped from in the first place.

    If he was from a small country, you can probably tell which by looking and by-country arrest info for a sudden drop in arrests.

  4. frank ly

    A blast from the past?

    Was he still using Limewire?

    There were many people who exposed their entire C:drive with that.

  5. Adam 52 Silver badge

    "... in clear contravention to Europol policy"

    This phrase bothers me. It usually means "we wrote a policy to cover our arse but nobody follows it because it's impossible to do your job if you do, still it allows us to make a scapegoat of this unlucky person."

    1. Jonathan Richards 1

      Re "this unlucky person"

      Also, from TFA

      > If organisations like Europol ... can make mistakes,


      > Human error is the weakest link

      There's no luck involved in this idiocy. It's not a mistake to take home a stickful of security protected documents, it's doubly not a mistake to copy them to a personal storage disk, and it's triply not a mistake to expose that on the internet. The first step is probably criminal, and the second and third are just reckless. Edward Snowden faces a lifetime of exile for just exposing classified methods of intelligence collection; this clown is termed "unlucky" for exposing actual intelligence in contravention of policy. Policy isn't made for arse-covering, it's meant to lead to processes and rules which make stupid behaviour like this extinct.

      1. Wzrd1

        Re: Re "this unlucky person"

        "Policy isn't made for arse-covering, it's meant to lead to processes and rules which make stupid behaviour like this extinct."

        The problem is, nothing is truly foolproof, as fools are so damned ingenious.

  6. JJKing Silver badge

    To err is human; to get caught divine.

  7. Teiwaz Silver badge

    Hit the Share' button by accident?

    700 pages of analysis on terrorist groups and related sensitive information were exposed online

    This is what comes of 'almost' every application including a 'Share' button - It's too damn close to 'Save image as' on Firefox as well.

    Still can't see how he managed to 'accidentally' upload 700 pages...

    1. Jonathan Richards 1

      Re: Hit the Share' button by accident?

      > Still can't see how he managed to 'accidentally' upload 700 pages...

      I ran the linked Dutch article through Google translate: apparently the documents were copied to an Iomega network-attached storage device, without password protection.

      she made a backup of documents on a private Iomega network drive, a hard drive that was connected to the Internet without a password

      1. Tom Paine Silver badge

        Re: Hit the Share' button by accident?

        That still sounds weird. Don't they have NAT in Holland?

  8. Baldy50

    From the El Reg article today:-

    Still too much discretion when it comes to that 'terrorism' stuff, repeats David Anderson QC.

    And the Quoted text:-Where privacy campaigners have stated their concerns about an excess of information flowing between EU member states and the UK, security agencies have warned about Brexit's disruptive effects on counter-terrorism collaborations between the UK and EU.

    Earlier this year – a solid month before the story was picked up by the nationals – we reported how Europol's acting head of strategy warned that the UK would "certainly be cut off from the full intelligence picture" after Brexit.

    Think We'd be better off not sharing shit with them anyway.

    Remember the dosy Euro cop putting spysoft on the laptop his daughter used and getting it hacked? Forgetting he also used it for work now and then also leaking a ton of stuff!

    Our lot aren't much better I'll admit!!!!!

  9. Potemkine Silver badge

    Slightly OT

    This blog entry makes interesting comments about Security Policy and how to write one.

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