By Jim Popkin, Tim Sandler & the NBC Investigative Unit
June 14, 2006
WASHINGTON - A thief recently stole a computer server belonging to a
major U.S. insurance company, and company officials now fear that the
personal data of nearly 1 million people could be at risk, insurance
industry sources tell NBC News.
The computer server contains personal electronic data for 930,000
Americans, including names, Social Security numbers and tens of
thousands of medical records. The server was stolen on March 31, along
with a camcorder and other office equipment, during a break-in at a
Midwest office of American Insurance Group (AIG), company officials
An AIG spokesman says that there's no evidence that the thief has
accessed the personal data on the server or used it for any illicit
purpose. The server is password protected, the AIG spokesman adds.
The server contains detailed personal data from 930,000 prospective
AIG customers, whose information had been forwarded to the insurance
firm from 690 insurance brokers around the country. The potential
customers' employers were shopping with AIG for rates for excess
medical coverage, the spokesman says, when they forwarded the personal
data to AIG.
AIG has not yet notified any of the people whose personal data are on
the stolen server. AIG security officials have been conducting a
forensic analysis of the theft, and warned the 690 insurance brokers
of the problem on May 26.
The AIG spokesman tells NBC: "There is no indication that the thieves
were seeking data, rather than valuable hardware....To date, we are
unaware of any of this information being compromised."
In a police report on the incident, officers in the Midwestern city
state that the stolen server was worth $10,000. The police write that
the thief "came through the ceiling, going into their [AIG's] server
room." NBC News is not identifying the city at the company's request,
so as to not tip off the thief who may not realize he/she has valuable
AIG describes itself as "the leading international insurance
organization with operations in more than 130 countries and
Ironically, an AIG member company announced earlier this year that it
now offers identity-theft insurance coverage.
=A9 2006 MSNBC Interactive
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