The database, from Shell's internal directory, gives names and telephone numbers for all of the company's workforce worldwide, including some home numbers, according to a story in the Financial Times. The e-mail was ostensibly sent by disaffected staff calling for a "peaceful corporate revolution" at the company.
The database was emailed with a 170-page cover note, explaining that it was being circulated by "116 concerned employees of Shell Oil dispersed throughout the USA, the UK, and the Netherlands" to highlight the harm allegedly done by the company's operations in Nigeria, according to the Financial Times.
Shell confirmed the database was genuine, but said it did not pose a security risk because it did not include home addresses, according to the news report. The company said it was investigating the security breach, but did not believe the claim it had been leaked by disaffected staff. So far, no Shell employee has admitted playing a role in the data theft.
The leaked information is about 6 months old, suggesting it could have been taken by a former employee, Financial Times said. Shell cut 5,000 jobs last year and recently announced a further 1,000 job losses for this year.
The e-mail was sent to a handful of campaign groups, including Greenpeace, and to www.royaldutchshellplc.com, a Website used to air grievances about Shell, the report said.
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