Risk
8/29/2008
10:09 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
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BNY Mellon Data Breach Potentially Massive

It was in May when we noted an investigation launched by the authorities in the state of Connecticut into a backup tape lost by the Bank of New York Mellon. The results of that investigation are in, and they don't look good.

It was in May when we noted an investigation launched by the authorities in the state of Connecticut into a backup tape lost by the Bank of New York Mellon. The results of that investigation are in, and they don't look good.First, some background (which is available in my earlier post, here). A backup 10 unencrypted backup tapes with millions of customers' information had gone missing on Feb. 27, and the Connecticut authorities wanted to know more, as there were up to half-million Connecticut residents private information place at risk.

Here's what those (unencrypted) tapes contained, according to Attorney General Blumenthal's letter:

BNY representatives informed my office that the information on the tapes contained, at a minimum, Social Security numbers, names and addresses, and possibly bank account numbers and balances.

That's just great, isn't it.

At first, we thought there were 4 million whose private financial information was on those tapes; turns out now that there could be up to 10 million. Here's what Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell has to say in a statement released yesterday:

"It is simply outrageous that this mountain of information was not better protected and it is equally outrageous that we are hearing about a possible six million additional individuals and businesses six months after the fact," Governor Rell said. "We fear a substantial number of Connecticut residents are among this latest group."

I couldn't agree more. There is absolutely no acceptable excuse as to why this information was not encrypted on these tapes. None.

The BNY Mellon has set up this Web site for those who may have been affected by this incident.

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