Honeywell International has accused a former employee of disclosing sensitive information for 19,000 of its US employees on the web.
Honeywell discovered that employee information was being published on the web on 20 January 2006 and had the website handling the information pulled down.
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Information said to have been published included employee payroll data, social security numbers and other personal information, said the company.
In a court filing the company has accused former employee Howard Nugent of accessing the information and “transmitting” it.
Honeywell says no hacking of information was involved, but that Nugent had “intentionally exceeded authorised access to a Honeywell computer”.
The company has won a court order to prevent him from releasing such information in the future, although it is not clear what methods he is said to have used and why he allegedly did it.
It is not clear whether Nugent now faces criminal charges for his alleged actions.
Honeywell employees were told of the data breach via e-mail three days after it was discovered, and the company then followed up with postal notices about the problem afterwards.
Nugent has not commented on the affair.