Personal information of some 34,000 Pfizer employees could be used in identity theft schemes, admitted the company that discovered a security breach used by an employee to make copies of confidential information for thousands of employees.
The theft took place about a year ago but the company has only now discovered its existence and has started to take steps to prevent the possible negative consequences of the act.
The situation is the third of its kind reported by the company this year. The first was made public in June and reported the possible theft of personal information relating to 17,000 company employees. At this point, the use of peer-to-peer software on one of the company’s computers to gain access to information.
The second case reported by the company concerned the theft of two laptops of company employees, from inside a car. These machines also held personal information for company employees.
According to Pfizer, no illegal activities have been detected so far using the stolen data. In any case, criticisms of Pfizer are already being heard for considering that the company does not have sufficiently effective security policies in place and for the delay in responding to the identified situations.
2006-12-18 – Identity theft has affected more than 100 million Americans