Confidential financial data worth tens of millions of about 350 Ameriprise clients were exposed unwittingly by one of its financial advisors while taking a back-up on an Internet-connected drive at home, reports ZDNet. The discovery, by security researcher Chris Vickery of MacKeeper during a random scan with Shodan search engine, has raised questions about the security practices followed by the company’s franchise operators across the US.
According to ZDNet, the advisor had hooked the drive up at home with his primary backup drive at his office but no password had been configured on either. Apart from social security numbers, financial planning and banking details of clients, the drive also exposed the advisor’s personal files including decryption keys.
Ameriprise has denied giving the backup drive to the advisor as he claimed and said they had a secure online storage for back-up, but the company’s security documentation, says Vickery, belies this because it makes several references to flash drives and external hard drives.
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