February 28, 2005
A published report says Bank of America is warning the holders of at least 1.2 million of its federal employee credit card accounts that a major security breach may have left their account information exposed to theft or hacking.
Federal law enforcement is investigating the loss of several Bank of America data backup tapes that were being transferred across country by air when they disappeared in December.
So far no evidence has been found to suggest that the tapes or their content have been accessed or misused.
The bank said that the tapes are "now presumed lost". The government cardholder accounts included on the data tapes will continue to be monitored, and government cardholders will be contacted should any unusual activity be detected. Bank of America stated that no unusual activity has been observed.
It added that its cardholders will not be held liable for any unauthorised use of their cards.
A U.S. official told Time magazine that a large percentage of the accounts are for the Pentagon but that some 40 federal agencies and other entities are affected. Some of the tapes related to non-federal cardholders, the official added.