Bank of Ireland in fifth laptop theft

The Bank of Ireland is investigating the loss of a fifth laptop containing confidential customer data.

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The Bank of Ireland is investigating the loss of a fifth laptop containing confidential customer data.

The bank has begun a probe into the loss, which it said dated back to 2001. Management has only just been made aware of the theft, the Press Association reported.

In a statement, the bank moved to assure customers their data was safe. “Bank of Ireland is investigating an allegation of a stolen laptop computer dating back to 2001. The Bank would like to reassure customers that the risk level of any data from seven years ago being used for fraudulent purposes is extremely remote."

The news comes after the bank's Life division said it had lost four laptops in 2007 containing personal information on customers. The details of 31,500 customers had been lost as a result. It is currently being investigated by the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner, which said it will raise the issue of the latest news with the bank.

An internal investigation at BOI is continuing into the four laptops that were stolen last year, the bank told Computerworld UK, and customers whose details have been lost have been notified. “In addition, all Bank of Ireland Life laptops are encrypted and 98% of all group laptops are also encrypted now,” it said. The bank aims to have encrypted the remaining laptops by the end of the month.

At the time it said the risk of fraud was “very low”, promising compensation if any illegal data use was identified. “The data on the laptops did not include bank account passwords, PIN numbers or copies of signatures,” it added.

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