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VeriSign Error Releases Customer E-Mail Addresses

December 18, 2000

One of the Internet's best-known security and identity firms, VeriSign Inc. in Mountain View, Calif., last week accidentally released a list of more than 5,000 customer e-mail addresses. "It was an administrative error," said VeriSign spokesman Christopher Clough. He added that VeriSign discovered the mistake Wednesday and immediately began contacting the 1,000 people who received the list as an attachment to an e-mail announcing a branding change. This list - which included 5,435 e-mail addresses of customers of Intuit Inc.'s QuickBooks Merchant Account Service - had no other identifying information and didn't include any financial data. VeriSign provides payment service for QuickBooks customers.

Intuit spokesman Michael Runzler said he expects his firm, also in Mountain View, to continue its relationship with VeriSign. "We regret that it happened," he said. "But we worked with VeriSign to inform everyone that we are taking steps to ensure that it doesn't happen again."

MARIA TROMBLY, Computer World


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