Boeing Bombs On ID Fraud Prevention


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John Stith
Staff Writer

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Every time you turn around, you hear another story on ID fraud. There’s another one today. Aircraft manufacturer Boeing happened to lose a laptop computer. A number of questions come up about why all those names would be on a laptop but then another question comes up. Doesn’t Boeing have some kind of government contract?

There are two issues here to consider. First is the obvious ID fraud problem. The laptop computer had 161,000 names of current and former employees stored on it, including social security numbers, birth dates, banking information and other useful data. Apparently, someone had taken the unsuspecting laptop off of Boeing’s property and elected not to pay enough attention to it.

Boeing did issue a statement on Friday discussing the incident. In the statement, they suggested someone was probably just after the laptop maybe to get $50 or so out of it.

While they maintain there was no “classified, supplier, customer, engineering or material financial information” on the disc, the point is companies like Boeing must be more careful and secure in not just protecting the data but also in allowing the data to be taken.

This problem has happened at multiple companies and none of them seem willing to take precautions to protect the data in-house. Multiple protection methods for the user don’t work if someone swipes a company computer with all the information needed to start a major phishing scam with access to all the information. The companies say it hasn’t really happened yet but they don’t have to tell you if it does in most states.

The worst part about Boeing is that they’re also a major government contractor. While they say nothing significant was taken they guarantee that. This company works for NASA, the U.S. military, and other nations’ military. Can they guarantee employee information theft won’t happen again? Doubtful.

Until companies start taking this thing entirely more seriously, this problem will continue to grow. Besides, if they don’t care enough about their employees to protect their records vigorously, how can a company like Boeing be trusted with the development of rockets and passenger jets. I wonder if Airbus has this problem.

About the Author:
John is a staff writer for SecurityProNews covering cyber security.