Feeds

M&S in ID theft flap over stolen laptop

Oops, it's happened again

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Marks & Spencer has become the latest large organisation embroiled in an identity theft-related security flap.

A laptop containing salary details, addresses, dates of birth, national insurance and phone numbers of some 26,000 employees has been stolen from a printing firm, which was tasked with the job of writing to workers about pension changes. M&S wrote to all staff whose names were on the laptop, warning them of the risk and offering free credit checks as a result.

It's unclear if any of the data has fallen into the hands of crooks. It may be the thief was just an opportunist looking for free hardware.

News of the theft, which emerged over the weekend, follows similar security flaps at the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust, Nationwide Building Society, the Metropolitan Police, Serco, and others.

Security firms were quick to point to the latest theft as another reason to use disk encryption in order to protect sensitive data. PGP Corporation spokesman Jamie Cowper said: "Staff and customers are increasingly concerned about the possibility of identity theft, and the offending company suffers not only high financial costs, but also risks enormous damage to their brand in the aftermath of a breach.

"Encryption and proper authorisation controls are quickly becoming essential measures for the protection of sensitive customer and employee data - companies need to realise this before legislation in this area drives greater punishment."

In other information security breach news, HM Revenue and Customs has apologised after sending the bank details of other claimants to punters applying for tax credits. It blamed a printer cock-up for the security snafu. Those affected were notified by letter last week. Many of those affected live in Northern Ireland, the BBC reports. ®

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
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
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
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.