Coca-Cola laptop theft could have compromised info for 74,000: WSJ

Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:04pm EST

A Coca-Cola logo is pictured on the back of one of their corporate delivery trucks in San Diego, California September 24, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake

A Coca-Cola logo is pictured on the back of one of their corporate delivery trucks in San Diego, California September 24, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Mike Blake

(Reuters) - Beverage maker Coca-Cola Co (KO.N) on Friday said company laptops had been stolen from its headquarters in Atlanta and could have compromised information of about 74,000 people, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

A spokeswoman for the company said the laptops were stolen by a former employee responsible for maintenance and disposal of equipment, the business daily reported. The company on December 10 learned that personal information was stored on the laptops after recovering them, the newspaper said. (link.reuters.com/mux36v)

Coca-Cola could not immediately be reached for comment outside regular U.S. business hours.

The world's largest soft drink company has alerted domestic and Canadian employees about the security breach through a memo, the Journal reported.

Personal details such as social security numbers, driver's license numbers and credit-card information may have been compromised, the Journal said.

The company, which has managed to recover the laptops, which were not encrypted, contacted law enforcement authorities, while saying it could not confirm whether the information has been misused, the newspaper reported.

The company's disclosure about this possible security breach comes after Target Corp (TGT.N), the third-largest U.S. retailer, last month said hackers stole data from up to 40 million credit and debit cards of shoppers who visited its stores during the first three weeks of the holiday season.

(Reporting By Sampad Patnaik; Editing by David Gregorio)