HM Elizabeth II-UK

Heathrow investigates after Queen’s security details ‘found on USB drive discovered lying in street’

A memory stick containing sensitive Heathrow security data, including the Queen’s route to the airport, was reportedly found lying in the street. A total of 76 files on the drive contained maps and restricted documents, reports the Sunday Mirror. The USB stick, which was discovered by an unemployed man in north London, detailed the exact route the Queen takes to the airport and her security measures as well as those for cabinet ministers and foreign dignitaries, according to the newspaper. It also reportedly contained other sensitive information such as a timetable of security patrols guarding against terror attacks and the types of ID needed for restricted areas. A spokeswoman for the airport said an internal investigation has been launched into the data breach. The newspaper says that the memory stick was handed to its reporters by a man who spotted it Heathrow airport queen data breach on the pavement in Ilbert Street, in Queens Park, as he made his way to a library to search for work. When he plugged the pen drive in he was reportedly able to access 2.5GB of data, including 174 documents which were not encrypted nor password protected, and some of which were marked ‘confidential’ and ‘restricted’. The paper reports the drive contained maps of the Royal Suite, which is used by the Queen as well as cabinet ministers. Amongst other data found on the memory stick were reportedly maps locating CCTV cameras and a network of tunnels linked to the Heathrow Express as well as details of the ultrasound radar system used to scan runways and the perimeter fence. Heathrow is by far the UK’s busiest airport, with 75 million passengers passing through it last year. The next busiest was Gatwick, which had 43 million passengers in 2016. A spokeswoman for the airport said security plans had been reviewed in light of the incident. They said: “Heathrow’s top priority is the safety and security of our passengers and colleagues. “The UK and Heathrow have some of the most robust aviation security measures in the world and we remain vigilant to evolving threats by updating our procedures on a daily basis. “We have reviewed all of our security plans and are confident that Heathrow remains secure. “We have also launched an internal investigation to understand how this happened and are taking steps to prevent a similar occurrence in future.”

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