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Security incident turns into a flap

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By Roger Snodgrass

The subject of cyber security resurfaced in Los Alamos, after Los Alamos National Laboratory began looking into the circumstances surrounding three computers stolen from a Santa Fe home last month.

 

A letter from the manager of the Los Alamos Site Office came to light Wednesday, suggesting that the laboratory and its federal overseers have not been taking the matter seriously enough.

 

“In treating this initially as only a property management issue, my staff and I, and apparently the cyber security elements of the laboratory, were not engaged in a timely and proactive manner to assess and address potential loss of information,” wrote the Los Alamos Site Office Manager Don Winchell in a letter to Michael Anastasio.

 

The letter was dated Feb. 3 and was made available by POGO, the Project on Government Oversight, a Washington, D.C., watchdog group.

 

In the letter Winchell said that the LANL follow-up investigation had revealed a number of “emergent issues,” starting with the initial laboratory reports that “used vague terminology and made assertions that suggested significant weaknesses in individual controls, organizational management approval, accountability systems, configuration management, etc.”

 


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