Google has confirmed that personal data of US employees hired prior to 2006 has been stolen in a recent burglary.
Records kept at Colt Express Outsourcing Services, an external company Google and other companies use to handle human-resources functions, were stolen in a burglary on 26 May. An undisclosed number of employees' details and those of dependents, such as names, addresses, and social security numbers, were on the stolen computers. It is understood that Colt did not employ encryption to protect the information.
It is still unclear how many more of Colt Express's clients were affected by the breach. US employees of CNET Networks (publisher of ZDNet.co.uk) were also affected by the burglary, with around 6,500 employees' details stolen.
Although there is no evidence of misuse of the data to date, the information obtained could be used by ID thieves to create fake accounts and identities.
It has only come to light now that Google was one of the companies affected. Google itself was not burgled, nor were any of its internal systems compromised.