(follow-up) Federal Office Offers $50,000 Reward for Missing External Drive

Hilton Collins reports:

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is still on the lookout for a missing external drive containing copies of personal data — including Social Security numbers — of former Bill Clinton administration staffers and people who contacted or visited the White House during the Clinton era. One of former Vice President Al Gore’s three daughters is among those affected.

“To date, we’ve been unable to identify and recover the hard drive. It’s still outside of our control and custody as an agency,” said Paul Brachfeld, the NARA’s inspector general.

Brachfeld began an investigation into the drive in March 2009, right after the data was discovered missing on March 24. He expects to have a report ready to go a few weeks from now.

The data was stored on a 2 terabyte Western Digital MY BOOK external hard drive that went missing from an NARA processing room in Maryland. It was last seen somewhere between October 2008 and early February 2009.


So far, the office’s handling of the situation seems to be a good example of how to operate after a data breach has occurred, according to Michael Maloof, CTO at TriGeo Network Security.

“I think companies have come to realize both, obviously, within the government and commercial space, that silence is deadly,” he said. “If the news breaks on the front page of the Wall Street Journal that it’s far more damaging than for the news story to be, ‘We’re announcing this breach and proactively taking these steps.'”

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