Feeds

Medical Excess loses records on 1m customers

EMC among the afflicted

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Health insurance firm Medical Excess one-upped the laptop loss crowd by forking over an entire server with personal information on close to 1m people.

Medical Excess - an AIG company - began notifying customers this month that a break in at one of its offices has resulted in the the theft of a camera, two laptops and a file server. That server happened to contain the names, birth dates and social security numbers of 970,000 people. Even worse, some individuals have had their medical and disability information compromised by the theft.

"The investigation following the theft of the server was quite complicated because data that was equal to one hundred million typewritten pages was stored on the server, much of which had to be manually reviewed," Medical Excess wrote to customers, in a letter obtained by The Register.

"As a result of our investigation, we believe that your name, Social Security number and birthday may have been included in a file saved on the stolen server. We are notifying you about this incident so that you can take action should someone misuse the stolen data."

Medical Excess has moved to reassure customers by saying the server was password protected and adding that it doesn't think the information has been misused. Those who notice strange activity on their financial statements will also receive free access to "a toolkit of resources and hands-on support."

Just lovely.

EMC was one of the companies affected by the theft, The Register, has learned. A note sent by EMC to US employees notes that the server "may have contained information on nearly one million individuals from perhaps thousands of employers."

Medical Excess didn't bother to notify EMC about the problem. Instead, EMC workers began calling HR on Monday to ask what was up with the funny letters they were receiving from Medical Excess in the mail.

This data loss builds on a spate of recent laptop thefts that have affected workers at HP, Sun Microsystems, IBM, BP, Nokia, Cisco and others.

The rising number of thefts and companies' inability to properly protect their data has started the inevitable discussion as to whether or not Congress needs to step in with harsh penalties for these types of incidents. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day
Goog the perfect ruse to slip into SEO orfice
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.