Data storage company Iron Mountain has admitted losing back-up tapes containing the data of thousands of employees at one of its customers.
This is the third major data breach to affect Iron Mountain. Last year, the company lost computer tapes containing the personal information of around 600,000 current and former Time Warner employees.
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Also last year, Iron Mountain lost back-up tapes containing information collected by an ISP, which was working for a variety of banks.
There are fears that the latest loss could lead to identity theft fraud, with tapes containing the personal information of employees at the Long Island Rail Road company lost during "a routine delivery", according to Iron Mountain.
Tapes belonging to a different, unnamed company were also lost, but are not believed to have contained sensitive data.
An investigation by Iron Mountain, in collaboration with the New York Police Department and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, has concluded that the loss was probably an accident. Foul play had initially been suspected.
Iron Mountain said, “A potential burglary was suspected, but an investigation has found no information to suggest the back-up tapes were misappropriated in any way.”
Current, past, and retired employees of the rail company are being contacted about the theft.