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AlertBoot offers a cloud-based data and mobile device security service for companies of any size who want a scalable and easy-to-deploy solution. Centrally managed through a web based console, AlertBoot offers mobile device management, mobile antivirus, remote wipe & lock, device auditing, USB drive and hard disk encryption managed services.

AlertBoot Endpoint Security

AlertBoot offers a cloud-based data and mobile device security service for companies of any size who want a scalable and easy-to-deploy solution. Centrally managed through a web based console, AlertBoot offers mobile device management, mobile antivirus, remote wipe & lock, device auditing, USB drive and hard disk encryption managed services.

iPad Security: $1.5 Million In iPad Mini Tablets Stolen From JFK

It's not news that smartdevices like tablets, such as iPads, and laptop computers are lost or stolen at airports.  Hence the existence (and need) for tablet and laptop encryption software like AlertBoot.

But then, there is theft and then there is theft.  The New York Post is reporting, exclusively, of an airport heist that ties the movie Goodfellas to iPad Minis: $1.5 million dollars worth of the newly debuted tablets were stolen from the same JFK hangar that was a central plot device in the movie (and in real life).

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same...Kind of

Apparently, crooks used one of the airport's forklifts to load two pallets of iPad Minis onto a truck.  Three more pallets were left behind when an airport worker challenged the crooks.  An unfortunate event for the crooks, who appear to have done their homework:

The crooks arrived at Building 261 around 11 p.m. in a white tractor trailer marked with the name CEVA on the side, according to the sources. They pulled up to the side of the airport building that faces onto a street and has less security than the other side, which is accessible from the airport tarmac.  [nypost.com]

A total of 3,600 iPad Minis were stolen.  This latest heist pales in comparison to the Lufthansa robbery that was featured in Goodfellas.  As the nypost.com article goes on to note, "that haul would be some $21 million if adjusted for inflation."

There's also reason to believe that it was an insider job, and some airport employees have gone through a polygraph test.

A commentator, Christopher Shaw, left the following insight:

This story's facts are wrong. I own an air freight forwarder at JFK. CAS, Cargo Airport Services is not a shipper, they are the contracted handling agent for many of the warehouses at JFK. The warehouse workers are employed by and report to them. They work on behalf of the airlines, onloading, offloading and handling the freight onto trucks and planes. CEVA is a freight forwarder. If their truck wasnt stolen or "borrowed" they were likely the forwarder involved in the job. If not, another forwarder imported these items and submitted the paperwork to the airline. Someone either at the forwarder or at the warehouse knew these were coming in and organized the theft. They will easily be tracked to the theft. it's not a question of if but when. Theft is a huge problem with CAS workers, we have had problems with high end computer equipment in the past. Security is also very lax, many of those employees from India, Pakistan and Guyana. The entire chain of command in the cargo areas is manned by 3rd world immigrants with pretty low standards. Not the way it used to be.

I could do without the race-baiting -- I bet I can find plenty of people of any nation, color, or creed that are lax when it comes to security -- but the observations regarding the JFK's cargo terminal operations, if accurate, means that the situation could end up like the Lufthansa heist in 1978 (in terms of figuring out what happened.  The FBI eventually figured out who was behind the heist, although the whacking of known associates meant the authorities couldn't provide any evidence).

I found the best parting shot on this story at cnet.com:

Steve Jobs really was way off when he said no one would ever want a smaller tablet; turns out they're worth risking jail time for.

The Other Type of Theft at Airports

Of course, the above is not generally how tablets, smartphones, and laptops are lost at airports.  Generally, they're either left behind [http://www.alertboot.com/blog/blogs/endpoint_security/archive/2012/07/07/tablet-security-nearly-3500-tablets-and-smartphones-lost-at-top-us-airports.aspx ; ] (nearly 8,000 in the past year at the nation's top airports only) or stolen on a device-by-device basis (retail theft, if you will, as opposed to today's reported wholesale theft).

It's important to remember that tablets, smartphones, and laptops (and any other portable digital devices) are essentially databases full of one's life; possibly databases full of other people's lives as well.  If a portable device is being used as designed -- being used while on the move -- it behooves the user to ensure proper portable device security and encryption is in place.

For companies and organizations that are willing to step in where users may fail, the use of a MDM security suite that is cloud-based could provide an affordable yet powerful way to boost BYOD security.


Related Articles and Sites:
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/ipad_heist_at_jfk_KUg25OxRZ3Xgpk58H7fXwJ
http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57550353-37/$1.5-million-worth-of-ipad-mini-tabs-stolen-from-jfk/

 
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About sang_lee

Sang Lee is a Senior Account Manager and Security Analyst with AlertBoot, Inc., the leading provider of managed endpoint security services, based in Las Vegas, NV. Mr. Lee helps with the deployment and ongoing support of the AlertBoot disk encryption managed service. Prior to working at AlertBoot, Mr. Lee served in the South Korean Navy. He holds both a B.S. and an M.S. from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, U.S.A.