NASA beefs up security after laptop theft. reports on a heightened state of alert in the halls of the government offices in charge of the very biggest missiles there are… because somebody just stole a kinda sensitive laptop:

The theft occurred on 31 October, and included a NASA laptop and official NASA documents issued to an employee who works at the space agency’s Washington DC headquarters.

“The laptop contained records of sensitive personally identifiable information (PII) for a large number of NASA employees, contractors, and others,” stated a notice posted on “Although the laptop was password protected, it did not have whole disk encryption software, which means the information on the laptop could be accessible to unauthorized individuals.”

NASA did not reveal how many employees the theft might affect, but said it could take up to 60 days to notify all those involved. The agency said it is “thoroughly assessing and investigating the incident, and taking every possible action to mitigate the risk of harm or inconvenience to affected employees.”

This is not the first time NASA has lost a laptop with sensitive information. In February, Inspector General Paul Martin informed members of Congress that an unencrypted laptop was stolen from NASA in March 2011.

Not that there’s any scientific breakthrough here, but we can only hope the laptop thief will now liberate the secrets of free energy and UFOs to an eager populace.