United Parcel Service (UPS) has officially denied that computer tapes of Citigroup banking records were e-hijacked as was claimed by a speaker during a recent security seminar in Washington D.C. (See “E-hijacking new threat” FO 12/05, pg. 72)
“It's not true that those tapes were stolen; what happen is that the packages broke open in transit and the contents were inadvertently thrown away,” Susan Rosenberg, a UPS spokeswoman, told FLEET OWNER. “In this particular instance, the allegations that they were stolen are just plain wrong.”
At the seminar hosted by law firm Patton Boggs LLP, Stephen Spoonamore, CEO of data security consulting firm Cybrinth, pointed to the loss of Citigroup's tapes as an example of electronic hijacking, whereby electronic manifests are reset in transit to alter shipment security requirements, thus allowing them to be stolen.
“We're not going to detail our security procedures, but suffice to say we've got a lot built into our system,” said UPS's Rosenberg. “There are reasons we know the packages broke open and were discarded that I won't go into. What I can tell you is that we worked very closely with Citigroup to resolve this and they were very satisfied with the results of our investigation into this matter.”
Citigroup noted that the tapes, which contained information on 3.9 million CitiFinancial Branch Network customers, got lost while in transit to a credit bureau back in June. The tapes contained information on the customers in the U.S., as well as customers with closed accounts from CitiFinancial Retail Services.
Kevin Kessinger, executive vp of Citigroup's Global Consumer Group and president of Consumer Finance North America, said the banking giant had no reason to believe that the information was used inappropriately, nor has it received any reports of unauthorized activity. Also, back in July, he added, Citigroup began sending that financial data electronically in encrypted form.