No need to panic -- EU Commission data safe

The personal computer of an EU staff member was hacked at the Internet Governance Forum

Media reports that computers of European Commission representatives were hacked at the Internet Governance Forum in Baku, Azerbaijan, last week have been vastly inflated.

The European Digital Agenda Commissioner, Neelie Kroes mentioned in her blog that a staff member's computer was hacked, but her spokesman, Ryan Heath, explained on Monday that it was his private computer that may have been compromised.

"It was not an official Commission computer and it contained no sensitive data. It was my own MacBook that I been using in the hotel. When I switched it on three hours later, I discovered a message telling me that my security had been compromised that that I may have been hacked," he said.

Heath said that the computer, although not an official European Commission machine, would be looked at by experts to determine if any information had been stolen. He added that neither he nor any of his colleagues using their Commission computers had experienced any security problems.

Delegates at the event did report connectivity issues, but Heath said that was not suspicious -- event organizers just didn't expect so many people to show up.

European Commission policy regarding protecting computers when working outside the Commission buildings is quite strict. Commission staff are briefed by the Security Directorate before traveling to certain countries.

"Mobile users with Commission laptops are equipped with tested reference configurations, whose security settings are controlled. Any of these computers are expediently equipped with security updates, and their malware scanners are up to date," explained DIGIT spokesman Antony Gravili. Commission laptops are also encrypted using full disk encryption.

According to new research by Edelman, many private companies are not so diligent. More than half (57 percent) of respondents said their organization does not consider privacy and the protection of personal information to be a corporate priority and six out of 10 companies do not strictly enforce all levels of compliance with laws and regulations.

Around two thirds said their organizations do not have the expertise or technology and 55 percent said they lack adequate resources to protect personal information. The full Edelman Privacy Risk Index is due to be released on Tuesday.

Follow Jennifer on Twitter at @BrusselsGeek or email tips and comments to jennifer_baker@idg.com.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmentinternetbusiness issues

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jennifer Baker

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?