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Vulnerabilities / Threats

Aflac Loses Data on 152,000

Company quacks 'fowl!' over theft of laptop in Japan

A laptop stolen from one of Aflac's sales agents in Japan contains the personal data of more than 152,000 of the insurance company's customers, officials said yesterday.

American Family Life Assurance Co. said Thursday that an employee of Tsusan Co., one of its Japanese sales agents, reported the laptop stolen while traveling on a commuter train July 17. The company did not tell the media about the theft immediately because it had hoped to get an apology letter out to the affected customers first, officials said.

The laptop contained personal data on 152,758 insurance policyholders, including their names, addresses, policy details, and dates of birth. The data did not include bank account numbers or information about the patients' health, the officials said.

Aflac has seen no indication thus far that the data has been used. An Aflac official said it would be "difficult" for an outsider to access the data because "all of the information was password-protected and encrypted." The company did not offer details on how the passwords or encryption were configured.

Aflac, which gets three quarters of its revenue from Japan, insures about a quarter of the population there and has more than 40 million customers around the world, according to a Bloomberg report.

— Tim Wilson, Site Editor, Dark Reading

Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

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