It had been a long day in Palo Alto, Calif., for a Fidelity Investments employee. On a routine business trip to meet with clients at Hewlett-Packard, he was finally getting some much-needed downtime. Joining several colleagues for dinner at a Chinese restaurant, he decided to relax after a stressful day. His day, though, was about to get much worse.
In the parking lot, a laptop sat in his unlocked rental car. Its hard drive contained information about 196,000 current and former HP employees, including their names, addresses, Social Security numbers and dates of birth--all the fundamental ingredients for an identity heist of gigantic proportions.