By Hugh Son
July 26, 2007
(Bloomberg) -- Aflac Inc., the world's largest seller of supplemental
health insurance, said a laptop containing information on 152,000
customers in Japan was stolen from an employee of an insurance agency
The laptop contained the clients' names, addresses, birth dates, and
policy details, according to Laura Kane, a spokeswoman at Aflac's
headquarters in Columbus, Georgia. It was used by a worker of
Tokyo-based Tsusan Company and stolen on a commuter train July 17. Aflac
wanted to send letters apologizing to policyholders before alerting the
press, she said.
``All the information was encrypted and password-protected, so it would
be very difficult for any third-party to access it,'' Kane said today.
``Obviously we've reported this to the police and they are making every
effort to find the missing laptop.''
Aflac, which gets three-quarters of its revenue from Japan, insures
about a quarter of the population there and has more than 40 million
customers around the world.
The shares of Aflac had the biggest decline in the Standard & Poor's 500
Insurance Index today after being the biggest gainer yesterday, when it
rose on better-than-expected second-quarter sales in Japan. The stock
dropped $2.87, or 5.1 percent, to $53.32 in New York Stock Exchange
Steven Schwartz, an analyst at Chicago-based Raymond James & Associates,
lowered his stock rating to ``market perform'' from ``outperform,''
saying yesterday's 8.3 percent increase brought it closer to his
12-month target of $57.
Attend Black Hat USA, July 28-August 2 in Las Vegas,
the world's premier technical event for ICT security
experts. Featuring 30 hands-on training courses and
90 Briefings presentations with lots of new content
and new tools. Network with 4,000 delegates from
70 nations. Visit product displays by 30 top
sponsors in a relaxed setting. Rates increase on
June 1 so register today. http://www.blackhat.com