Canadian navy stung again by insider, but this time data wasn’t stolen

Does your organization’s staff ignore policy on handling sensitive data? Don’t worry: So do those who work for the Royal Canadian Navy.

According to news reports Rear Admiral John Newton, who commands Maritime forces in the Atlantic, told reporters Tuesday a civilian Web designer working at the navy’s intelligence base in Halifax improperly stored copies of more than 1,000 secret documents, But, he added, it was a mistake that did not pose a threat to military intelligence.

“We do not fear that there was a threat to the material that was uploaded to a unclassified network,” Newton was quoted in the Toronto Sun by Canadian Press as saying after taking part in a dockside ceremony for a frigate leaving on a six-month, NATO-led mission in the Mediterranean.

“We’ve looked at … the work of the person involved and it’s an issue of imprudence in handling material, but it’s nothing more nefarious than that.”

The report said military police discovered the designer allegedly used Defence Department networks to improperly store secret files dated between 2004 and 2009. According to a search warrant seen by reporters military police seized four hard drives, a laptop computer, some CDs and floppy disks from the suspect’s office in September following a complaint about a possible security breach.

It is alleged  the person copied the documents from a secure network for Web pages, but apparently instead of keeping them there put them on a less secure network.

No charges have been laid, and it isn’t clear if an investigation is still ongoing. News reports said the suspect’s network accounts have been frozen and he has been barred from entering the building where he once worked.

The incident comes after Sub-Lt. Jeffrey Paul Delisle, who also worked at the navy intelligence facility, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for copying secret computer files and selling them to Russia.

Although the admiral’s statement suggests the navy views this latest incident as an error rather than a deliberate attempt at theft or manipulation of documents, it’s another reminder that insiders pose a tremendous risk to enterprises — and that CISOs have to do more than approve policies for document control.

In this case admiral Newton said security measures introduced after Delisle was caught helped the military detect the Web designer’s activity, but not early enough for a considerable amount of documents to have been mishandled.

Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Featured Download

Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

Featured Articles

Stemming the tide of cybercrime

By: Derek Manky Technology continues to play a significant role in accelerating...

Power through a work-from-anywhere lifestyle with the LG gram

“The right tool for the right job” is an old adage...

Related Tech News

Tech Jobs

Our experienced team of journalists and bloggers bring you engaging in-depth interviews, videos and content targeted to IT professionals and line-of-business executives.

Tech Companies Hiring Right Now