Eighty computers have been lost, stolen or gone "missing" at a major US nuclear weapons lab, the nonprofit watchdog group Project On Government Oversight has said.Eighty computers have been lost, stolen or gone "missing" at a major US nuclear weapons lab, the nonprofit watchdog group Project On Government Oversight (POGO) has said.
The group posted online a copy of what they say is an internal letter outlining what appear to be worrisome losses at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the state of New Mexico.
The letter says that 13 lab computers were lost or stolen during the past year, three of the machines taken from an employee's home in January. Another 67 computers are deemed "missing."
"The magnitude of exposure and risk to the laboratory is at best unclear as little data on these losses has been collected or pursued," the letter dated February 3 maintains.
The letter, addressed to Department of Energy security officials, contends that "cyber security issues were not engaged in a timely manner" because the computer losses were treated as a "property management issue."
What became of the missing computers and the "security ramifications of each of the 80 systems" was to be detailed in a written report to lab officials by February 6, according to the letter.
AFP telephone calls to the lab on Friday in search of comment were not returned.
Los Alamos was created as a secret facility during World War II and was the site for the Manhattan Project that gave birth to the first nuclear bombs.
It is a major center for research related to national security, outer space, renewable energy, medicine, nanotechnology, and supercomputing.