Economy

Swedish Government Admits Huge Data Leak Was A "Disaster"

Swedish Government Admits Huge Data Leak Was A

Sweden's government inadvertently leaked details of its citizens, as well as confidential data, in an outsourcing deal with IBM. However there is no suggestion that IBM was in the wrong. The idea was to shift the database into the cloud, removing the need for in-house technicians at the STA. The 2015 leak exposed personal information, such as names, photos and home addresses of millions of Swedish vehicle owners, including fighter pilots of the Swedish air force, police suspects, those under the witness protection program, and the members of the military's most secretive units. The databases also contain information about police and military vehicles, as well as data on anybody who has a driver's license. The agency also sidestepped rules in order to outsource the contract, which used vendors based in Romania and the Czech Republic.

"I got the picture that there were problems linked to outsourcing at Transportstyrelsen, that the security police and Armed Forces were in contact and that the Armed Forces were acting on it", Hultqvist was quoted by the TT news agency as telling Swedish MPs.

"What has happened is a complete failure".

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And the level of consumer debt is no higher relative to incomes than it has been on average in the past 20 years. Brazier added that the bank had put in place defence measures to strengthen lenders' resilience to losses.

Something was found amiss when the Director General of the Transport Agency, Maria Ågren, was quickly retired from her position this January - but it was only on July 6 that it became known that she was found guilty of exposing classified information in a criminal court of law.

The leak happened in September 2015, when the Swedish Transport Agency (STA) made a decision to outsource the management of its database and other IT services to companies such as IBM in the Czech Republic, and NCR in Serbia.

The Transport Agency has admitted that Ågren took shortcuts when overseeing the security of the department's IT infrastructure, allowing foreign contractors access to the data without the necessary security clearances. This is a serious security risk.

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At the same time however, he said that Kuwait "did not offer any good step and it should be blamed for that". That trial followed the discovery of guns and explosives in a raid on the Abdali cell in 2015.

While the Russian Federation spying claims were widely discussed by Swedish politicians and covered in the media, this particular high-profile security scandal was initially hushed up and only emerged after Agren's court sentence became public in July.

While half a month's pay may not seem like a great deal, Rick Falkvinge, head of privacy at Private Internet Access, suggested that it was a significant amount because of the way in which senior directors in Sweden's government and public sector usually look after each other.

"If a common mortal had leaked this data through this kind of negligence, the penalty would be life in prison. Half a month's pay was the harshest conceivable sentence", Falkvinge writes, adding that "any governmental assurances to keep your data safe have as much value as a truckload of dead rats in a tampon factory". But not when done by the government themselves.

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But we've learned before, never rule anything out when it comes to President Trump's unpredictable style of leadership. He told the paper in an interview that he believes Sessions's recusal decision was "very unfair to the president".


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