Friday, September 08, 2006

Chase Card Services Dumps Customer Records in Landfill

Chris Mellor writes on TechWorld (UK):

In an amazing display of incompetence, Chase Card Services has dumped tapes containing millions of customers' details in a landfill site.

The company will now have to tell 2.6 million current and former credit card customers of Circuit City that tapes containing their details were tossed out when they were mistaken for rubbish. Chase is apparently working with both local and national authorities to find out what happened but thinks they were in a locked box which was crushed and dumped in the landfill hole.

There is no evidence that the tapes or their contents have been accessed or misused, the company said. And CEO Rich Srednicki issued a statement promising that: "The privacy of our customers' personal information is of utmost importance to us, and we take the responsibility to safeguard this information very seriously." Interpretations for what "very seriously" means are open to discussion.

More here.


At Fri Sep 08, 11:44:00 AM PDT, Anonymous David said...

I just don't see the dumping in a landfill of a x year old data tape (or even tapes) to be as big of a deal as others.

Let's see:
1) Have to have same hardware and software as Chase had (not likely, and harder to obtain - think cost).
2) Most likely they had a password on the tapes so will need that (cracking tools?).
3) Need to have the datastorage to restore tapes ($).
4) Unknown data (e.g. where on the data tapes is this information, and how easy is it to recover), that may be in a unknown database type (recovery software for x database).
5) Have to have access to the landfill to find tapes (not likely)
6) How many cubic meters of garbage do I need to go through to find the tapes in the first place (your kidding right?)

This is NOT in the same level of issue as someone having a text copy of 5,000 customers with every record seperated by a ",", and including their ssn, credit card number, and pin number, and expiration date.


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