Stolen NASA Laptop Had Space Station Command Codes
NASA Space Station Command Codes Stolen in 2011
So now we know that NASA keeps International Space Station control codes on an unencrypted laptop, the contents of which are not matched to a backup. Right now, you're thinking, "Are you fuckin' kidding me?" The answer is "no".
The NASA laptop in question was stolen in 2011 (pdf). The US Government has been scaremongering about "cyber terrorism" lately, but how about meeting us halfway and encrypting your laptops? It's not rocket science. It's not even computer science.
You don't need 007 or Jack Bauer or that stringy-haired guy from Nikita. Just call the damn' Geek Squad.
Leaving aside for a moment the debatable decision of leaving space-station control codes on a device that can be easily smuggled in a hoodie, why on Earth (or near orbit) would one not keep a documented backup of such a device?
Roughly 48 computing devices were lost or stolen from NASA between 2009 and 2011. Fewer than 1% of NASA's portable devices are encrypted, however a much higher percentage contained personal identification info (PII) and/or other sensitive data.
NASA Inspector General Paul K. Martin actually has no idea else may have been on the stolen laptop:
"NASA cannot consistently measure the amount of sensitive data exposed when employee notebooks are lost or stolen because the agency relies on employees to self-report regarding the lost data rather than determining what was stored on the devices by reviewing backup files," he said.
Well, just ask Blofeld. He probably has that laptop.
If you use your device for work, or if it holds sensitive information (for example, command codes to a fucking space station), you should run some sort of encryption. Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Mac OSX have native encryption tools; and TrueCrypt is a free, open-source option as well.
NASA, meanwhile, has opted for "nothing", and it's not worked out too well for them.