McAfee Loses Employee Data in Airplane Seat Pocket

As usual, the companies that we entrust to keep our computer security safe have proven to be barely capable of protecting their own employees from identity theft. In other words, McAfee has lost the personal information of 6,000 employees, including their names, addresses, stock options and Social Security numbers.

It was lost by one intrepid consultant, who burned all the information onto a compact disc, didn’t bother labeling it, then inserted it into an air seat pocket in front of him. Smooth. Then McAfee took close to three months to inform the employees.

Probably this is a non-issue. Some Virgin Atlantic janitor probably scooped it out of the seat pocket and tossed it into the garbage. But there has been a disturbing trend with companies losing highly confidential information lately, which implies that this is actually a regular occurrence – it’s just been picked up as a theme by news reporters. That this time it happened to a company that we expect to stringently look after our own informational security against Internet worms and viruses makes this sort of sloppy lapse even less forgivable.

As if you needed a better reason to switch to AVG. Which actually appears not to be free anymore. So fuck them too.

Link: Security Company McAfee Loses Employee Data at Consumer Affairs.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Hawkins says:

    Actually, the excellent AVG anti-virus software is still free for personal use:
    I love it.

  2. yerfatma says:

    There’s always Avast!

  3. Andrew W says:

    My favorite version of this story is the Boston Globe’s sticking personal subscriber data in with bundles of newspapers.

    Think you get a thicker pack of data on Sundays?

  4. AcidReign says:

    …..AVG free is still working well on my 4 computers in my house. It’s a great, no fuss, small package that doesn’t require the sysop (me) to go around to each computer and futz with it, like, say, Norton. Also, when you’re tyring to teach your kids how to program in Visual Basic, Norton script-blocker will have a cow! AVG doesn’t eat up 2/3 of your processing cycles, either.

  5. Aaron D. says:

    Even better,

    completely free, opensource
    fast and easy.

  6. Buckhorn says:

    It seems to me Deloitte is just as much at fault for this problem as McAfee. I am a former McAfee employee and spent quite a bit of time convincing customers that their biggest security threats were the soft, squishy masses inside their buildings so there’s no excuse for McAfee to allow this to happen, but shouldn’t a Big Four (or is it Six or Three???) accounting firm be a little smarter than this, too? And shouldn’t a loss as potentially harmful as this one be reported to the company involved sooner?

  7. airship says:

    Aaron D., I just started using ClamWIN this week. I hope it’s good.

  8. GenXCub says:

    Next, the Cinnabon will be giving my personal info up to the woman who runs my Weight Watchers group! It never ends!!