The White House Blackberries

May 1, 2008

Back in Episode 23 of our SIW Radio podcast series, we discussed mobile device security as part of our "IT Basics for Physical Security Pros" series with Kevin Beaver, CISSP. One of the focuses of that audio program (which is now available through the iTunes store for free) was about devices like laptops and blackberries -- which are the core business computing tools of today -- are lacking even security like password-protection.

The thing about these devices is that they are so easily stolen. A criminal can throw a laptop under an arm or drop a Blackberry in a pocket. Such, it seems, was the case with a Mexican embassy official who attempted to steal Blackberries from White House staffers in late April. According to a report on Fox News' website and an Associated Press report, the Mexican staffer simply grabbed some Blackberries that were left on a table outside a meeting room (security and custom dictate that these devices don't get into high-level meetings with President Bush) and almost got away with it, were it not for surveillance video systems set up by the U.S. Secret Service.

Can you imagine the intelligence information that was sitting on that table? [Also check out a new blog post on this same White House Blackberries topic from our friend Kevin Beaver at his Security on Wheels blog.]