IBM admitted that a contractor is believed to have lost multiple tapes containing identifying information on an undisclosed number of current and former IBM employees. The tapes hold employment data on them, including names, addresses, birth dates, Social Security numbers as well as beginning and end dates of employment. IBM ran ads in several local New York papers offering a reward of an unspecified amount for the return of the tapes or information about their whereabouts. "If anyone has the tapes, we don"t want to give much detail about them. So far, the ads have failed to find the tapes for us," said IBM spokesman Fred McNeese. He wouldn"t say how many responses IBM received or whether the lost information was encrypted. He would only say that "various tapes had different levels of protection."
On February 23, the tapes were lost while in route to a long-term storage facility: an unnamed long-time IBM contractor was transporting the tapes when they were lost near the intersection of Interstates 287 and 684 in Westchester County, New York. He wouldn"t say if the tapes were lost during an auto accident or if they somehow simply fell out of the vehicle. The company began to notify those affected about the loss in April. "It took us a while to determine what was on the missing tapes, and then it took a while to line up the credit monitoring and to begin notifying people," said McNeese. IBM is offering those affected by the loss a free year"s worth of credit monitoring. The contractor who lost the tapes is still employed by his firm.
News source: InformationWeek