Stella Rimington, the former Director-General of MI5 (Britain’s Security Service), has had her laptop stolen according to media reports.
Dame Stella Rimington made the headlines in 1992 when she was publicly named as the first female chief of MI5, and is believed to have inspired Judi Dench’s casting as spy chief “M” in the James Bond films. Dame Stella has since carved herself a career as a spy novelist.
The former boss of MI5 was said by The Sun newspaper to be “very upset” by the theft which occurred as she left Heathrow airport last Tuesday.
The Metropolitan Police’s SO15 Counter-Terrorism division is reported to have been informed because of possible security concerns.
Although Dame Stella retired from MI5 in 1996, the concern will be that she may still have the contact details of former colleagues, and no doubt the authorities will want to quickly determine if strong passwords and encryption were in place on the laptop.
And that’s an important consideration that all of us should bear in mind.
Chances are, of course, that whoever stole Dame Stella’s laptop was not targeting her specifically and is more interested in selling the computer down the pub than attempting to uncover any secrets on her hard drive.
Three years ago, newspapers claimed that the incoming head of Britain’s MI6 secret intelligence service, Sir John Sawers, could have had his security put at risk after his wife made publicly accessible posts on Facebook.
Image source: www.stellarimington.com
7 comments on “Ex-MI5 boss loses laptop at Heathrow airport”
I use FileVault on my mac. I feel safe taking it places .
The joke is this lady looks like Judy Dench. (sort of).
Bond wouldn't be happy.
Why do you think Judy Dench got the role? (Apart from being a fine actor, of course.)
She will get her laptop back and the thieves body will never be found.
… and this story will disappear, along with any traces on proxy servers…
Shes got to be embarrassed to let this happen though. It doesn’t say how the laptop was stolen but it doesn’t sound like anybody took it out of her hands, therefore the blame falls squarely on her for being careless. See what retirement does. Bond would be extremely dissapointed and upset. If her laptop was not encrypted she may end up next to wherever the thieves body does.
It might be easy enough to get new computers online, but of course the data on the device you lost is the most important part of your computer. It’s kind of ironic that she of all people would have something like that stolen from her. Hopefully the security of people involved with her won’t be compromised.