Laptop stolen from MoD HQ

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A laptop containing secret data has been stolen from inside the British Ministry of Defence HQ in Central London.

While the loss of laptops containing 'top secret' government and military data is something of a spectator sport in the UK, they usually go AWOL from the back seat of cars, on trains, in restaurants or from public toilets when the owners have their hands full.

Figures from the MoD show that 28 laptops were lost or stolen in the
first four months of this year and that 658 have vanished in the last
four years.

But this loss is particularly embarrassing for the military as it was taken from inside the high security MoD Main Building in Whitehall.

Even worse, the machine disappeared together with the encryption key needed to unlock the data, which was presumably on a Post-It Note stuck to its screen.

The Sun newspaper reports that the loss was discovered at the end of November and that the 'high-ranking' RAF officer involved has been 'moved to other duties' while an investigation is under way.

An MoD source said: "This has the potential to become one of the most serious security breaches at the Ministry for a very long time. Laptops have been mislaid before, but not with encryption keys. An investigation by MoD police is on-going and it would be inappropriate to comment further."