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 internetbusiness 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

Essentials

Brother MFC-L3745CDW Colour Laser Multifunction

Learn more >

Mobile

Exec

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?