Boeing has warned that a thief has lifted a US employee’s laptop containing the names, social security numbers and other sensitive information of 161,000 current and former employees.
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The theft from the Seattle-headquarted company is the latest identity theft threat to hit corporate US, which has seen major companies fall victim to remote hackers and laptop thieves on numerous occasions this year.
Earlier this year, a female employee at communications company MCI had her laptop stolen from an unlocked car in her garage. That PC contained sensitive information on thousands of employees.
Boeing said the laptop theft did not take place at a Boeing building but did not say where it took place.
With identity theft on the internet now an increasing problem, US legislators are considering tougher laws to force companies to bolster security.
Some of the employee information on the Boeing laptop included banking information and birth dates, admitted Boeing, although it said it was not aware of any fraudulent incidents using the information so far.
Boeing said it was contacting all current and former employees affected by the theft and was enrolling them for free in fraud protection and credit monitoring programmes.