An alarm­ing breach that could haunt UK

Sunday Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - News - BY CHRIS HUGHES DE­FENCE AND SE­CU­RITY ED­I­TOR ANAL­Y­SIS

THE im­pli­ca­tions for a trove of in­for­ma­tion on air­port se­cu­rity falling into the wrong hands are ex­tremely se­ri­ous and ter­ri­fy­ing.

Is­lamic State is known to be pur­su­ing a “spec­tac­u­lar” to match the 9/11 at­tacks.

Codes, maps, routes used by roy­als and emer­gency pro­ce­dures would be of huge, per­haps in­es­timable, value to a ter­ror cell.

Cru­cially, in­ves­ti­ga­tors will want to know how and why some­one was able to get the in­for­ma­tion on to a USB stick. And worse, get it out of their work­place – then ap­par­ently lose it.

It is deeply alarm­ing. That it should hap­pen at a time of such a height­ened ter­ror threat may show se­cu­rity pro­ce­dures and con­trols are not as nailed down as we had all hoped.

But there is an­other pro­foundly alarm­ing as­pect to this. Re­peated at­tempts to dis­rupt Bri­tain’s in­fras­truc­ture have been made in re­cent years – by North Korea, among oth­ers.

This sort of in­for­ma­tion could be of great value to a hos­tile for­eign in­tel­li­gence agency. It could be used to merely ex­pose weaknesses, cost­ing Bri­tain a for­tune to resolve.

Or for a more sin­is­ter re­sult if open hos­til­ity grew to­wards the UK.

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