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Top 5 infamous data breaches

By Steve Evans: Published 8 July 2011

Thanks to WikiLeaks and hacktivists Anonymous, data breaches have never been higher up the agenda.

CBR looks at some of the more infamous incidents of data loss.

Extract

Shell, 2010

Keep your workers happy seems to be the message behind this leak. Energy giant Shell was rocked in early 2010 when a database of 170,000 of its workers was emailed out to human rights groups and environmental activists, including Greenpeace and royaldutchshellplc.com, a website run by anti-Shell campaigners. It was rumoured that the database was emailed out of the company by a disgruntled employee. According to The Times, a covering letter criticising Shell’s activities in Nigeria was sent out with the database, apparently signed by more than 100 workers in the US, Holland and the UK.

The company admitted the list was genuine but pointed out that the data it contained was email details and phone numbers rather than physical addresses, minimizing the risk to staff.

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