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By | Ashlee Vance 26th February 2006 20:36

Ernst & Young loses four more laptops

Gear pinched while auditors dined

Ernst and Young appears set on establishing a laptop loss record in February. The accounting giant has lost four more systems, according to a report in the Miami Herald.

A group of Ernst and Young auditors toddled off for lunch on 9 February, leaving their laptops in an office building conference room. According to security footage, two men entered the conference room a couple of minutes after the Ernst and Young staffers left and walked off with four Dell laptops valued at close to $8,000, the paper reported.

This theft follows a higher-profile incident in which an Ernst and Young employee lost his laptop containing the social security numbers and other personal information of customers. One such customer happened to be Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy who was told that his social security number had been compromised - an incident first reported here.

The laptop with McNealy's data was stolen from an employee's car, according to Ernst and Young.

It's unclear what type of security Ernst and Young had on the four laptops pinched in Miami. It maintains that the laptop containing McNealy's information was password protected.

Ernst and Young has failed to issue a public statement about these breaches despite being a major advocate of transparency in such issues in its role as an auditor and corporate advisor. ®

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