Feeds

Second security breach hits Pfizer

Another cock-up at Viagra manufacturer

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Personal details of workers at pharmaceutical giant Pfizer have been exposed to potential theft for the second time in two months.

The latest security cock-up involving the Viagra maker concerns the theft of two laptops containing details of 950 Pfizer contract workers from the car of an employee of consulting firm Axia. The machines were turned off and password protected but data on their hard discs was not encrypted. Information on the laptops contained the names and social security numbers of workers at the drug firm, among other things.

The theft of the laptops occurred on 31 May but Pfizer only wrote to workers on 21 July, following an investigation.

News of the slip-up follows two months after it emerged that personal information on more than 17,000 current and former employees at the pharmaceutical giant leaked onto a P2P network. Unauthorised installation of a P2P package on a company laptop led to the exposure of worker data, presumably after a directory holding the information was inadvertently offered up for sharing. Casual use of file sharing by the spouse of an unnamed Pfizer worker was blamed for the breach.

Workers were notified of the P2P breach on 1 June around six weeks after the fact. The breach prompted Pfizer attorney Bernard Nash to send letters to attorneys generals in states where potentially hit workers reside. The Connecticut Attorney General's Office followed up this letter with requests for more information about the breach, which affected 305 Pfizer workers who are resident in the state. Richard Blumenthal expressed concerns about the time Pfizer took to notify workers about the breach

The continued dialogue between Blumenthal and Nash over the issue led to public disclosure of the laptop theft breach. Pfizer has promised to offer affected workers a years free credit monitoring in the case of both breaches. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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
US government fines Intel's Wind River over crypto exports
New emphasis on encryption as a weapon?
To Russia With Love: Snowden's pole-dancer girlfriend is living with him in Moscow
While the NSA is tapping your PC, he's tapping ... nevermind
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
Slap for SnapChat web app in SNAP mishap: '200,000' snaps sapped
This is what happens if you hand your username and password to a 3rd-party
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.
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.
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.
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?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.