By Peter Sayer
IDG News Service
Deutsche Telekom's German mobile phone subsidiary T-Mobile lost a disk
containing personal information about 17 million of its customers in
early 2006, the company said Saturday.
Silent about the data loss for more than two years, the company
published its version of events on Saturday following a report in German
news magazine Der Spiegel that the data were being offered for sale on
Data on the disk included customers' name, date of birth, address and
mobile phone number, and in some cases the customers' e-mail addresses.
No banking details were lost, the company said.
When the loss of the disk was discovered, the company reported the loss
to the state prosecutor, and began monitoring Internet forums and sites
where such stolen information is offered for sale, it said.
T-Mobile found no evidence in the months following the loss that the
missing data was on the market, it said.
That changed on Saturday, however, with Der Spiegel's revelation that
the data is now for sale on the Internet.
The data for sale includes the home addresses and unlisted phone numbers
of many German celebrities, business leaders, billionaires, religious
representatives, government ministers and politicians, according to the
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