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Data Breach by Privileged Users

Because of their position, top managers enjoy privileged access to confidential information, including personal data of employees and customers, trade secrets, and other sensitive information. This is a digest of data leaks by executives, prepared by InfoWatch Analytical Center.

A nonprofit Green Beret Foundation (San Antonio, U.S.), which helps members of the Army’s elite special forces and their families, sued its former executives. The federal lawsuit says the foundation’s executive director, Jennifer Paquette, and its finance director, Melissa Pucino froze the group’s access to its records, including an email account containing 40,000 contacts, and stole certain confidential information.  Earlier, both top managers resigned as the board was preparing to fire them due to too much spending on management needs instead of authorized activities.

A former high-ranking executive of Lotte Duty Free has been indicted for passing on highly confidential information to Lotte business rival DFS. The indictment states Lee resigned from Lotte when he thought he would be passed over for a promotion to company director.  Shortly after, he met in Hong Kong with a top DFS executive and passed on confidential information about Lotte's plans for new businesses in other countries, including the $150 million Guam airport retail concessionaire contract.

The company's reputation is at serious risk when its executive uses customer personal data for personal gain. A former director of the Susquehanna County Emergency Management Agency (Pennsylvania, U.S.) was accused of using a former employee’s personal information to open a credit card account and make purchases.

A separate breach category includes senior politicians whose actions with regard to confidential information can do serious harm to national security system. In Algeria, ex member of parliament Ahmed Belkasmi was sentenced to five years in prison for handing over stolen confidential information to a foreign state, including reports on security, economic, and political matters, as well as information on health, movements, and ongoing activities of the President of Algeria. Interestingly, it was Belkasmi’s wife who disclosed him.