Shell security under microscope after massive data leak

Campaigners supporting Nigerian citizens receive Shell staff data

The security measures at Royal Dutch Shell are under close scrutiny after the details of 176,000 employees and contractors were emailed to campaigners.

Shell has been the target of extensive campaigning, particularly over its operations in Nigeria. Last year it reached a $15 million out of court settlement, over its alleged involvement in the death of Nigerian activists including the poet Ken Saro-Wiwa. Shell said the payment did not mean it accepted responsibility.

Shell's IT security systems and procedures apparently failed to prevent an email being sent by disaffected staff to campaigners, with an attachment of the contact details of its employees. Details included home telephone numbers of some staff who worked remotely.

The data is approximately six months old, which could suggest it was taken by a former employee, the Financial Times speculated.

BP, one of Shell's largest competitors, in 2008 told employees to be careful about emailing sensitive data, especially when "a telephone call will suffice".

The email of Shell data, sent this week, called for a "peaceful corporate revolution" at the company. There was a 170-page covering letter, which aimed to highlight human rights violations allegedly caused by Shell's operations to Nigeria's Ogoni people.

The message also called for NGO staff to become undercover employees at large corporations, in order to push for a change in practices.

Shell told the FT that the database was genuine, but claimed it did not pose a security risk because it did not contain home addresses. It said it did not believe the notion that disaffected staff had sent the data.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Shelldata leak

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Leo King

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?