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FTC warns 100 organisations over leaked P2P data

Customer and biz data turning up on Torrents

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More than 100 organisations guilty of allowing private data to leak on P2P networks have received warning letters from US consumer watchdog the Federal Trade Commission.

The leaked data – including customer and employee personal information – was left open to download after workers in the affected organisations decided to download content at work without really understanding what they were doing. In the process private files were shared with world + dog.

The offending organisations included schools, local governments, private corporations and small businesses. All were privately urged by the FTC to review their security policies and to apply tighter controls. The FTC issued a statement on this action, which is hopes will act as a wider warning against a real risk.

Sensitive financial data carelessly offered up by filesharers was the basis of an identity theft scam that resulted in a three-year jail sentence for one scallywag last year. Meanwhile, corporate P2P usage has also resulted in police files and even documents relating to nuclear power plants leaking online in Japan.

Sensitive data held by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer leaked onto P2P networks in another incident, after the spouse of a worker at the Viagra manufacturer installed a P2P package on a workplace PC. ®

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