Boston (MA) – Tape retrieval and storage company Iron Mountain has lost the backup tapes for the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) and another unnamed customer, the company admitted today. The tapes contained the personal information of railroad employees, but Iron Mountain says it is unlikely the information has been used illegally. The New York City Police Department and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority have begun an investigation.
The company says the information on the tapes should be safe, and that criminals wouldn’t be interested in backup tapes anyway. “The information would be too difficult to access and read; it would require highly specialized expertise, specific software and sophisticated technology equipment,” Iron Mountain said on its Web site. However, it should be noted that tape drives are freely obtainable, and the backup software needed to read the tapes can be purchased at any major software store.
Large companies routinely store a copy of their backup tapes offsite, just in case the main site is destroyed or inaccessible (earthquakes, tsunami, bird flu). Iron Mountain is one of the largest tape retrieval companies and makes more than five million pickups and deliveries annually.