U.S. nuclear weapons lab loses 67 computers

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U.S. nuclear weapons lab loses 67 computers

The mention of nuclear weapons laboratories rarely has a calming effect on anyone, even less so when the mention involves 67 lost or stolen computers.

Officials from New Mexico's Los Alamos nuclear weapons laboratory have fessed up to having only just realised that 67 of its computers were missing, with no less than 13 of them having disappeared over the past year alone.

A memo leaked by the Project on Government Oversight watchdog brought the lost nuclear laptops to the public's attention, leaving the Energy Department's National Nuclear Security Administration with no choice but to confess. Better than letting the debacle blow up in their faces, we presume.

Kevin Roark, a nuclear spin doctor at Los Alamos, confirmed that the lab was now carrying out an inventory check to make sure no additional PCs were missing.

Roark dismissed fears the computers contained highly-sensitive or classified information, noting it was more likely to cause "cybersecurity issues" than issues of national security. In other words, personal information about the lab's staff might be at risk, but none of the lost laptops came equipped with a big red button, so we can all sleep easy.

Three of the 13 computers which went missing in the past year were stolen from a scientist's home on January 16 and the memo also mentioned a BlackBerry belonging to another staff member had been lost "in a sensitive foreign country". Could that be Russia? China? Iran?

Worryingly, only one of the three computers nicked from the scientist's house was even authorised for home use.

 

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