Acer server in Europe reportedly breached

Pakastani hacker group claims it accessed personal data on 40,000 people

Hacking group Pakistan Cyber Army Friday claimed it had broken into an Acer server in Europe and stole personal data on about 40,000 people.

The group claimed that it also stole several pieces of source code that were stored on the compromised computer.

News of the breach was first reported today by The Hacker News (THN) which published screen shots showing samples of the allegedly compromised data, which include names, email addresses, phone numbers and other data stored on the server.

THN said the Pakistan Cyber Army contacted it earlier today to inform it of the attack on the Acer system and the theft of personal data.

Lisa Emard, director of media relations for Acer America, said the company's U.S. operations have no information on the breach. The company is trying to get a response to the PCA claims from its European officials, she added.

The breach comes as Acer, the second largest manufacturer of laptop computers in the world, faces increased scrutiny of its financial reporting practices.

On Thursday, Acer's stock price tumbled precipitously on the Taiwan stock exchange after an audit uncovered irregularities in the company's inventory and audit receivables information, according to a Bloomberg report.

The findings will result in a one-time $150 million write-off for Acer, Bloomberg said.

A brief statement posted on Acer's U.S. site said that company chairman and CEO J.T. Wang would take responsibility for the charge "by relinquishing total remuneration from his position as director of the company board, as well as employee bonus of 2010."

It's unclear if the hacking attack had anything to do with the company's financial woes.

Acer is just one of several large companies that have been compromised recently. Others in the news over similar break-ins just the past week include Lockheed Martin, L-3 Communications and Sony.

Jaikumar Vijayan covers data security and privacy issues, financial services security and e-voting for Computerworld. Follow Jaikumar on Twitter at @jaivijayan, or subscribe to Jaikumar's RSS feed . His e-mail address is jvijayan@computerworld.com.

Read more about security in Computerworld's Security Topic Center.

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