FTC warns of major peer-to-peer data breach

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Nearly 100 organisations affected.

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has contacted nearly 100 organisations following the discovery of a huge data breach on peer-to-peer (P2P) networks.

The FTC said that the breach affects organisations ranging from school districts and local governments, to large-scale enterprise firms.

The leaks are believed to have originated from connected computers that were not adequately configured. Potentially sensitive information was made available when the systems were connected to the P2P networks.

"Unfortunately, companies and institutions of all sizes are vulnerable to serious P2P related breaches, placing consumers' sensitive information at risk," said Jon Leibowitz, chairman of the FTC.

"Companies should take a hard look at their systems to ensure that there are no unauthorised P2P file-sharing programs, and that authorised programs are properly configured and secure."

The FTC is planning a new education campaign aimed at helping companies secure systems for P2P connections, but warned that responsibility for securing systems and complying with data protection laws lies with the company involved.

"It is your responsibility to protect such information from unauthorised access, including taking steps to control the use of P2P software on your own networks and those of your service providers," the FTC said.

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