Unauthorized file-sharing software leads to Pfizer employees’ data exposure

Where did the breach take place? Pfizer, based in New York.

Who are the victims? About 17,000 current and former employees.

What kind of personal information? Names and Social Security numbers; some addresses and company bonus information.

What happened? The spouse of a Pfizer employee downloaded file-sharing software, which violated the drug maker's policy, to a company-issued laptop. This exposed the private data over a peer-to-peer network.

What was the response? Pfizer is notifying victims and offering them one year of free credit monitoring. It also has disabled the file-sharing software on the laptop.

Details: The company has no reason to believe any of the data has been misused. Because the laptop was not connected to the company network, there is no risk to other Pfizer systems.

Quote: "Pfizer has taken steps to reduce the risk of future breaches and is continuing to carefully monitor this situation." - Attorney Bernard Nash in a letter to the attorney general of New Hampshire, where 98 of the breach victims reside.

Source: "Pfizer suffers data breach," June 12, The Hartford Courant.

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