September 19, 2008
More than 400,000 Massachusetts consumers may have had their personal information compromised in a data breach at the Bank of New York Mellon-- twice the number originally reported to state officials, according to a statement released yesterday by state Attorney General Martha Coakley.
In May 2008, BNY Mellon disclosed that back-up data storage tapes containing the information were lost by a third party vendor. At the time, the company said the breach affected approximately 200,000 Massachusetts customers.
Last month, the bank acknowledged the number could be much larger and that more than 12 million consumers were affected nationally -- nearly three times the 4.5 million reported in May. In August, Connecticut authorities said they were conducting an investigation of the breach and pursuing a possible "substantial" fine from BNY Mellon.
Coakley's office would not comment yesterday on whether it is conducting an investigation, but a spokeswoman said the increase is not surprising.
Investigators suspect customer information, including names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and bank account information could have been leaked. The firm is providing two years of credit monitoring services and $25,000 of identity theft insurance for those clients.
BNY Mellon is sending letters to the second round of consumers, said a spokesman.
JONNELLE MARTE =A9 Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company