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NEWS - February 26, 2005

Bank of America loses a million customer records
By Robert Lemos, CNET
Published on ZDNet News: February 25, 2005, 5:03 PM PT

A "small" number of backup tapes with records detailing the financial information of government employees were lost in shipment to a backup center, Bank of America said on Friday.

The tapes contained information on the customers and accounts of the U.S. government's SmartPay charge card program, which has more than 2.1 million members and annual transactions totaling more than $21 billion, according to the General Services Administration. Reports have pegged the number of cards affected at 1.2 million.

"Federal law enforcement officials were immediately engaged when the tapes were discovered missing, and subsequently conducted a thorough investigation into the matter, working closely with Bank of America," the bank said in a statement. "The investigation to date has found no evidence to suggest the tapes or their content have been accessed or misused, and the tapes are now presumed lost."

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They call

1.2 million cards and $21 Billion small.

Ha !!



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Microsoft IM release expected soon

By David Becker, CNET
Published on ZDNet News: February 25, 2005, 1:43 PM PT

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates is expected to take the wraps off Istanbul, the company's new instant messaging and real-time communications client, in a few weeks.

The software giant sent invitations to journalists and other insiders this week for a March 8 event in San Francisco, during which Gates will "unveil Microsoft's new and revolutionary real-time collaboration offerings."

A Microsoft spokesman said he couldn't specify that Istanbul would be the subject of the event, but the software has been widely touted as Microsoft's next major move in real-time communications. Istanbul is an internal code name. Microsoft has not said what the program might be called when it's ready for formal release.

Istanbul, which has been in the beta testing phase for several months, is a new client for Live Communications Server, Microsoft's corporate instant messaging software.

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Payroll hole exposes dozens of companies

By Robert Lemos, CNET
Published on ZDNet News: February 25, 2005, 6:06 PM PT

The payroll records of at least a dozen companies were exposed to the Internet by a flaw in the online W-2 service of PayMaxx, the accounting firm has acknowledged.

The flaw, uncovered by a Web application programmer this week, affected a limited number of customers, PayMaxx said Thursday in a statement sent to CNET PayMaxx closed the site Wednesday, after the researcher claimed that two security holes had exposed data on more than 25,000 people. Only six attempts to access unauthorized data were made in the week before the company shuttered the site, Tennessee-based PayMaxx said. The company said no other attempts had been made to exploit the vulnerability.

"Based on our initial analysis, the potential exposure is limited to a small number of companies and W-2 forms," PayMaxx said. "We have no evidence to substantiate that any other access has occurred."

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