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Former MI5 boss loses laptop

The former boss of the UK's MI5 security service has caused a security scare by losing her laptop at Heathrow.

The former boss of the UK's MI5 security service has caused a security scare by losing her laptop at Heathrow.

Stella Rimington left the computer on a luggage trolley from where it was stolen, according to the The Sun.

The laptop is thought to contain sensitive contact details of former spy colleagues, and the theft has been reported to the Met's Counter-Terrorism Command, the paper said.

The laptop is also believed to have contained research for a book. Since leaving MI5, Rimington has turned her hand to writing spy novels.

Authorities will want to quickly determine if strong passwords and encryption were in place on the laptop, said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at security firm Sophos. 

The thief was probably not targeting Rimington specifically, and was more interested in selling the computer than attempting to uncover any secrets on her hard drive, he said in a blog post.

In 2009, the incoming UK MI6 secret intelligence service head John Sawers caused a similar security scare over publicly accessible posts on Facebook made by his wife.

The incident highlighted why it is important for employers to have policies and procedures in place regarding how confidential information is dealt with by their employees.

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