Large-capacity portable storage devices have been banned by the UK government's Ministry of Defence (MoD).

This means MoD workers are banned from keeping iPods at their desks, reports Reuters, though the military is more concerned about large-capacity USB devices.

"With USB devices if you plug it straight into the computer you can bypass passwords and get right on the system," RAF Wing Commander Peter D'Ardenne told Reuters.

The policy was put into effect when the MoD switched to Windows XP.

The news follows a recent Gartner report warning that such devices could be used to purloin corporate data.

The Gartner report said: "Portable-storage products can bypass perimeter defences like firewalls and antivirus at the mailserver, and introduce malware such as Trojans or viruses onto company networks."