An entire city has been left at risk of identity theft after a USB stick carrying the personal data of all its citizens went missing.
The city of Amagasaki in western Japan announced this week that it had misplaced the memory drive containing information of its 460,000 residents.
The embarrassing leak includes the bank account numbers of households on benefits alongside other compromising details, such as names, addresses and dates of birth, according to the Japan Times.
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Officials have since laid the blame with a contracted employee hired to assist with the delivery Covid-19 relief funds, who they say lost a bag carrying the device after a night drinking and eating at a restaurant on Tuesday (June 21).
The contractor reported the mishap to police and the city authority the next day.
A grovelling statement from local government in Amagasaki read: “We will thoroughly ensure security management when handling electronic data
“We will work to regain our residents’ trust by heightening awareness of the importance of protecting personal information.”
Mayor Kazumi Inamura of Amagasaki City also apologised for the "concern of the citizens" and announced that his office had set up a dedicated helpline for those who could affected by the breach.
Back in the UK, reports emerged earlier this year that flustered aides at 10 Downing Street had discovered dangerous spyware linked to the United Arab Emirates was found on an office device.
The Pegasus virus, which could have spied on messages and calls for 24 hours a day, was found on a gadget registered on the building's network.
The concerning security breach was reportedly discovered on July 7, 2020.
John Scott-Railton, a senior researcher at University of Toronto who had been helping track the computer virus, told the New Yorker: "When we found the No10 case, my jaw dropped."
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