Romney Campaign Laptops Stolen

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2007-09-10 Print this article Print

Romney's campaign staff says encryption makes the stolen laptops good for little more than parts.

Burglars broke into Mitt Romneys Boston presidential campaign headquarters over the weekend, making off with multiple laptops and a television. Alex Burgos, a spokesman for the campaign, told eWEEK that the burglary happened sometime during the evening of Sept. 9. The forced entry into the building, a harbor side location on Commercial Street in Bostons North End neighborhood, appeared to be a "routine" burglary, he said, given that neither hard nor electronic copies of files were touched. At any rate, the computer systems are password-enabled and the hard drives are encrypted, Burgos said.
"The only thing theyre good for is parts," campaign spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom told the Associated Press.
Click here to read more about how preparation can ease the pain of a stolen laptop. That wont help much if the passwords were written on sticky notes or otherwise affixed to the systems, however, pointed out Jeff Rubin, vice president of marketing and strategy for Beachhead Solutions, a Santa Clara, Calif., vendor of remote-control data destruction technology. "The problem isnt going through encryption. Its going through the password," he said. "If a crook gets access to that six- or eight-character password, theres no more encryption." Indeed, in a paper published in October 2006, Nucleus Research noted that more than one out of three users write their passwords down. Burgos said there was no concern about written-down passwords being an issue with the stolen laptops. Check out eWEEK.coms Security Center for the latest security news, reviews and analysis. And for insights on security coverage around the Web, take a look at eWEEKs Security Watch blog.
Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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