Thief cops personal information from NYPD pension database

UPI reports that a civilian employee of the New York Police Department has been charged with burglary, grand larceny, and computer trespass after disabling security cameras and stealing eight backup tapes from a warehouse on Staten Island. Anthony Borelli, the accused, is the former director of communications for the NYPD pension fund, and the tapes found in his home contain Social Security numbers and direct-deposit information for 80,000 current and retired officers.

The police potentially affected are receiving letters warning them that their personal information may have been violated. Leaving aside the wisdom of stealing from 80,000 cops, the department could have spared itself a great deal of grief simply by encrypting the data. As Credant senior VP Michael Callahan pointed out Thursday, "Eight backup tapes with heavily encrypted data on them have a resale value measured in tens of dollars, whereas with 80,000 identity theft kits on them in readable format, the value starts to skyrocket into the hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars category."

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