Nissan, Under Armor report breaches of employee information

Nissan blames virus; Under Armor loses thumb drive with data on it

Nissan Motor Co. and performance apparel maker Under Armor have disclosed recent data breaches involving the potential compromise of employee information.

Nissan on Friday announced that user IDs and hashed passwords of an undisclosed number of employees had been illegally accessed and downloaded from a database.

In a statement, the company said the compromise resulted from an intrusion into Nissan's global information systems network. The company noted that its information security team discovered a virus on Nissan's networks on April 13 and immediately moved to isolate the infected system.

"This incident initially involved the malicious placement of malware within our IS network, which then allowed transfer from a data store housing employee user account credentials," Nissan said.

David Reuter, a spokesman for Nissan Americas, today declined to say how many employees were affected by the breach. However, he acknowledged that employees, contractors and suppliers from Nissan operations around the world were impacted. Apart from the user IDs and hashed passwords, no other employee, customer or company information appears to have been compromised, he said.

Meanwhile, in a separate incident also disclosed pn Friday, apparel maker Under Armor disclosed that unencrypted personal information belonging to an unspecified number of employees may have been compromised when a thumb drive containing the data was lost by its auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The drive was apparently sent by U.S. mail to a PwC facility but lost in transit. According to a story in the Dayton Daily News, the thumb drive contained unencrypted names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers and salary information of Under Armor employees. The paper said it had obtained an internal memo indicating the drive had been sent by PWC in connection with a recent audit.

PWC today acknowledged the data breach without confirming or denying any of the information in the Daily News report and deeply regrets that the information was lost in transit to a PwC facility, Jude Curtis, PwC's chief ethics and compliance officer, said in an emailed statement. The company is conducting a thorough internal investigation to determine how the information was lost.

"PwC is committed to protecting its clients' confidential information and is working closely with its client to provide protective safeguards to those individuals whose information was lost," Curtis said without elaborating.

Jaikumar Vijayan covers data security and privacy issues, financial services security and e-voting for Computerworld. Follow Jaikumar on Twitter at @jaivijayan or subscribe to Jaikumar's RSS feed. His e-mail address is

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