Apparently, the leaked classified information from the top nuclear lab in Los Alamos, NM which was found on a personal computer during a drug raid, was more sensitive than originally thought.
It isn't clear if the classified and sensitive information was shared with others.
From CBS News:
A federal official who has been briefed on the issue said at least three USB thumb-drives were involved. Those small storage drives contained 408 separate classified documents ranging in importance from Secret National Security Information (pertaining to intelligence) to Secret Restricted Data (pertaining to nuclear weapons).No word on the woman who worked at Los Alamos. But she is no longer employed, and was not found at the time of the drug raid.
All of the information came from the classified document video media vault inside the Lab. Federal officials also found 228 pages — printed front and back — of classified documents in the drug trailer during their investigation...
The woman believed to have taken the information — the owner of the trailer — worked in three classified vault rooms across Los Alamos:
# Safeguards and Security (relating to strategic nuclear material control and accountability)
# X-Division (top secret)
# Physics P-Division.
The woman had top secret "Q-clearance" with access to all the U.S. underground nuclear test data. Additionally, she had "Sigma 15" clearance, which allows her access to info on how to deactivate locks on nuclear weapons.
For example, if a terrorist steals an American nuclear weapon, he could not detonate it due to the special access controls. This woman is authorized to read the reports that tell how to get around those safety controls.
Only the FBI will be able to tell for sure what's on the thumb drives, but British security officials are worried that design plans for Trident nuclear weapons are among the stolen documents. They are making inquiries of U.S. officials. Britain used to test its nuclear weapons in the United States, and data on those tests may have been held at Los Alamos.
But as you can see, if a terrorist has a stolen nuke, they can now activate it. This is now an international event, with Britain on edge.
Hopefully, this turns out to be nothing more than a case of Los Alamos negligence/incompetence.
*Update* Commenter Bethdaley provided a link to a government oversight blog with more information:
The woman involved, Jessica Quintana, turned out to have worked in a total of three classified vaults or vault-type rooms across Los Alamos National Laboratory: Safeguards and Security Division (documents concerning the strategic nuclear material control and accountability program) in X-Division, and in Physics (P) division. According to the briefing obtained by Nuclear Watch, she also had a Sigma 15 identifier to her Q-clearance. Sigma 14 and 15 information is the most sensitive information in the nuclear weapons complex because it describes how to bypass the locks which prevent unauthorized individuals from detonating a nuclear weapon – known as the permissive actions links. After googling the name, I found this report:
She was not on the periodic urinary drug-testing program or in the Human Reliability Program because one of the primary criteria for the program is that the individual work with weapons-grade and weapons-quantity Special Nuclear Material, the briefing states.
The woman had worked off and on at Los Alamos since 2000 when she was in college as an undergraduate. Her job as a subcontractor was terminated because the Los Alamos contract to archive information ended last month.
...the home was owned by Jessica Quintana, a police report says. New Mexico motor vehicle records indicate a 22-year-old Jessica Quintana owns a mobile home at the same location.And this one with quotes from her lawyer:
Quintana was fired from a job at the Los Alamos Family YMCA on Monday, YMCA director Linda Daly said in an interview. Quintana worked there for two weeks in an after-school childcare position, Daly said. "We put her on suspension after we became aware of the drug bust at her home," Daly said.
Quintana has not been charged. A man who was renting a room at her home was jailed on drug and probation charges.Perhpas it's a simple mistake, but the fact that she walked out of the Lab with ease is unnerving.
Her lawyer, Stephen Aarons, told The Associated Press that the material included copies of front pages of various documents from the lab. Quintana, an archivist, had planned to use them to create an index of items she had converted to an electronic format, he said.
Aarons also said that one of the three portable computer storage drives contained lab-related material, but that the information wasn't transferred to another computer.
"It was downloaded, but it was never uploaded," Aarons said, adding that Quintana did not show the material to anyone.
The 22-year-old archivist took the material home in August because she faced a work deadline to create the index, then forgot about the documents, he said.
"Her intent was to destroy the hard copies, and she never did it," Aarons said.