Storage device reported stolen from insurer RSA's data centre

Names, addresses, bank account and sort code details waltzed out the door

The insurance company formerly known as Royal & Sun Alliance but now going by the confusing-for-Reg readers “RSA” says “a data storage device has been reported as stolen from one of our data centres.”

The firm's sparse customer notice and press statement say the device contained names and addresses, bank account and sort code details.” The company adds “We have no evidence to suggest that this data has been misused in any way.”

If you are unlucky enough to have been among those whose details walked out the data centre door, RSA has written to you and offered two years' worth of services from fraud prevention outfit Cifas.

RSA's statements don't say if the stolen device was a thumb drive, a disk, or an entire array, leaving open the possibility someone managed to wheel out a substantial piece of kit.

Let's do a little sleuthing. Absent any news of outages at RSA, we can probably rule out the theft of a piece of kit that would have caused service interruptions. Let's also assume that “device” means a machine of some sort, rather than an optical disk or thumb drive. So what devices would RSA have the in the data centre that are small enough that a thief could sneak out? The most likely candidates are a tape drive or USB disk. The former could well be used for backup as not everybody, even large insurance firms, need a robotic tape library.

So here's a theory: someone's removed a tape drive from an RSA data centre. There was a backup tape in there when it was moved, which is how the customer data came to leave the building.

If you've a better theory, hit the forum for this story. If you know we're wrong, do get in touch. ®

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