Forty three British MPs have backed a House of Commons motion calling for the Duchy of Cornwall estate, owned by Prince Charles, to make its accounts more transparent and the finances of the Prince of Wales clearer. Which is just what might happen following the disclosure that a laptop belonging to the company that handle the Duchy payroll has been stolen.
A company spokesperson has told us journalist types that this could "pose a security threat if a technical expert was able to breach its password protection."
More to the point, a company that lets such incredibly sensitive data out and about, stored on a laptop, which was then left in a car from where it was stolen, does not exactly inspire a sense of security from the get go. A feeling compounded by the fact that this is the same company that had another payroll heavy laptop, with details of the staff of the Eden Project tourist attraction, all 500 of them, stolen just a couple of weeks ago.
The idea that all will be required to access the data on the Duchy of Cornwall accounts laptops, which includes details of the private bank account and national insurance number of Prince Charles, is for the password to be cracked almost beggars belief. To whoever has the computer, given the security track record so far, may I suggest you try ‘password’ as your first attempt.
Has Moorepay, the company concerned, not heard of encryption for example? Or keeping this kind of sensitive financial data on a central server, accessed in the field by way of a secure VPN so that the data does not actually reside on the laptop itself?
Perhaps they will have heard of the phrase ‘to the tower’ and ‘off with their heads’ which could come ringing loud and clear if Prince Charles discovers his bank details have been used to purchase some large electrical goods, make numerous telephone calls to Nigeria and open a number of new credit card accounts.
Still, seeing as Bonny Prince Charlie earned a reported £15 million from the Duchy of Cornwall estate last year alone, chances are he won’t miss the odd few pounds.
As of yet, no comment has been forthcoming from the future King of England...