Swedish Data Leak Exposes People In Witness Protection

Swedish Data Leak Exposes People In Witness Protection
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Usually, when we read stories about Sweden the focus is either on the quality of their education system or ABBA. But this week, the Swedish government is red-faced after being embroiled in a massive data leak affecting millions of citizens, including those in highly sensitive military roles and in witness protection.

Swedish publication, The Local reports that the police is investigating the Swedish Transport Agency after information about every vehicle in the country – including police and military – was made available to IT workers in Eastern Europe who had not gone through the usual security clearance checks. This happened as part of an outsourcing deal that’s was done with IBM in 2015.

The article says

It is not known whether the security glitch caused any major damage. The question of whether or not Sweden’s national security was harmed is censored in the Säpo [the police force] report.

While anyone can make a mistake, we expect governments to protect their citizens. This is the kind of screw up that highlights what can happen when governments get infosec wrong. And with governments around the world wanting access to more and more data it is important to note that not only can they get it wrong, but the potential impacts are massive – probably far greater than when private companies mess things up.


  • It’s amazing any information that identifies people in witness protection is so easily available. It’s like having a list of spies sitting on all computers. That stuff should be hand written and locked in a safe that only a few know about, and even less have access to.

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