Investigation Underway at Heathrow Airport After USB Drive Containing Sensitive Security Documents Found on Sidewalk


By Pierluigi Paganini

October 30, 2017

An unnamed man, on his way to the library, spotted a thumb drive on the sidewalk in Queen’s Park, West London. He pocketed the USB drive and continued on his way. He remembered the USB drive a few days later and returned to the library to view its contents. Recognizing the sensitive nature of the information, he then turned the USB drive over to The Sunday Mirror tabloid.

In their article on October 28th, the Mirror confirmed that the thumb drive contained at least 174 documents. These documents describe various security controls and protocols in place at Heathrow including:
  • timetables of roving security patrols
  • locations of CCTV cameras
  • types of security badges required to access restricted areas
  • maps of tunnels, access points and restricted areas
  • routes taken by the Queen and other VIPs to the Royal Suite private area at Heathrow, and
  • security protocols for VIPs travelling through the airport

It is obvious how this information would benefit someone intent on disrupting the airport or causing harm to dignitaries or VIPs. Many documents were labeled as “confidential” or “restricted” highlighting their sensitive nature. In an interesting twist, these labels follow an older labeling scheme so there is a question of how up-to-date this information isEven if the information is outdated, knowing former protocols and designs help a bad actor to anticipate the current solutions.


Mais do que uma solução tecnológica, somos uma decisão estratégica para as organizações.

Nossa missão é redefinir a relação das empresas com a cibersegurança e a experiência dos usuários no processo de autenticação e acesso a ativos tecnológicos.