Data theft touched off by stolen cake

20th December 2008, Comments 0 comments

Two couriers stole a cake then misdirected a package intended for a bank to a local newspaper in Frankfurt.

Berlin -- A stolen Christmas cake led to a parcel of credit- card records from a bank being sent anonymously to a German newspaper, triggering a major data theft scare, prosecutors said Friday.

Two couriers admitted gobbling up the cake that was in a package addressed to the Frankfurter Rundschau daily last week, a spokeswoman for the Frankfurt prosecutor's office said.

In order to cover their tracks, the two drivers took another parcel meant for the Landesbank Berlin and simply affixed a new label with the name of the newspaper on it, she said.

They were unaware the parcel contained documents detailing credit- card transactions with card numbers for tens of thousands of customers as well as personal identification number (PIN) envelopes.

A major scare erupted over the weekend after the newspaper published details of the anonymous package, fuelling concern that customer privacy had been breached.

The disclosure came at a time when there has been public concern in Germany that companies may not be trying hard enough to keep customer data confidential.

ADAC, a German motorists' club, has said it would replace 635,000 cards issued by its banking associate LBB as a result of the mix-up.

Police said the documents appeared to have gone missing during transport from a back-office company in Frankfurt, Atos Worldline, to LBB in Berlin.


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