Monday, November 24, 2003

Wells Fargo Offers $100,000 For Info Leading to Conviction of Laptop Thief

ZDNet reports the following:

"Wells Fargo said on Friday it had offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the burglar who stole a bank consultant's computer that had sensitive customer information on it. The computer was one of several stolen earlier this month from the office of an analyst for the bank in Concord, California, the bank said. The stolen PC contained names, addresses, bank account numbers and social security numbers for customers who had taken out personal lines of credit that are used for consumer loans and overdraft protection, according to Wells Fargo. No passwords or personal identification numbers were among the stolen data and no other Wells Fargo customers were affected, the bank said... The bank alerted affected customers this week [and] was also monitoring customer accounts, changing account numbers and paying for a year's subscription to a credit monitoring service."

This tells me that the "bank consultant's computer" didn't employ encryption to protect the customer data. It may have taken the physical theft of a computer to stress the importance of California's new privacy laws.

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