Payroll information for tens of thousands of Facebook employees, including banking information, names, bank account numbers and the last four digits of Social Security numbers, was stolen from an employee’s car in an apparent smash and grab, according to a report by Bloomberg.
The information was on unencrypted hard drives, and they also contained compensation figures, which included the salaries, bonuses and equity details for employees.
The drives contained data for about 29,000 Facebook employees who worked at the company in 2018. While Facebook has had some notable instances of stolen user data, the company said this particular breach only involved employees.
“We worked with law enforcement as they investigated a recent car break-in and theft of an employee’s bag containing company equipment with employee payroll information stored on it,” a Facebook spokeswoman said. “We have seen no evidence of abuse and believe this was a smash and grab crime rather than an attempt to steal employee information.”
The initial break-in happened on Nov. 17, and the information came to light on Nov. 20. By Nov. 29, a “forensic investigation” by the company revealed that the info on the drives was employee information regarding payroll and compensation.
The company reached out to employees on Friday (Dec. 13). Apparently, the employee who had the hard drives in the car was not supposed to do so. The employee was a member of the company’s payroll department, the spokeswoman said.
“We have taken appropriate disciplinary action,” the spokeswoman said. “We won’t be discussing individual personnel details.”
Facebook is working with police to try and get the stolen drives back, although none of them have yet to be recovered.
In an email to employees, Facebook said that those affected by the theft should contact their banking institutions, and the social media giant offered a two-year subscription to an identity theft monitoring software.