Feeds

40,000 BP workers exposed in Ernst & Young laptop loss

Sun, IBM and Cisco welcome BP to club

Security for virtualized datacentres

Exclusive Like sands through the hourglass, these are The Days of Ernst & Young laptop loss. Yes, friends, The Register can confirm that BP has been added to the list of Ernst & Young customers whose personal data has been exposed after a laptop theft. BP joins Sun Microsystems, Cisco and IBM in this not so exclusive club.

Ernst & Young has sent out a letter to all 38,000 BP employees in the US, telling them that a laptop theft had exposed their names and social security numbers. To keep the BP staff's mind at ease, Ernst & Young said that the file name containing their info did not indicate what type of information was on the laptop, and the laptop was password protected. Phew!

Ernst & Young confirmed that this is the very same laptop that held data on the Sun, Cisco and IBM workers. All of these data losses were revealed by us in a set of exclusive stories. Ernst & Young also recently lost four more laptops in Miami, although it has not said which customers were affected in those incidents.

Oddly, the Ernst & Young saga has gone untouched by other media outlets. That's somewhat surprising given the vigor with which security reporters chased down our initial confirmation yesterday that a Fidelity Investments laptop loss had exposed the personal information of 200,000 HP employees.

Ernst & Young continues to maintain a code of silence around the laptop thefts, saying only that the BP/Sun/IBM/Cisco machine was password protected. This speak no evil policy has resulted in a string of stories as Ernst & Young customers are told one by one about the theft.

It's difficult to obtain an exact figure on how many people have been affected by Ernst & Young's security lapse given that it won't say anything on the subject. We do, however, know that the IBM data breach exposed all current and former employees who have worked overseas at some point in their career. So, we're likely talking well over 100,000 people in that one incident.

You have to wonder how long these thefts can continue before the financial services companies start explaining why key customer data was sitting on laptops and why workers felt it okay to leave these laptops in their cars or in conference rooms. The lack of action on their part will no doubt encourage legislators to step in at some point.

Keep your letters coming. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
NASTY SSL 3.0 vuln to be revealed soon – sources (Update: It's POODLE)
So nasty no one's even whispering until patch is out
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.