A mistake by a network technician at the Alaska Department of Revenue has wiped out the details for an account worth $38bn.
To make matters worse the same technician managed to reformat the back-up drive, while the third line of defence, a back-up tape, was too corrupt to read. As a result 300 boxes of documents had to be rescanned at a cost of over $200,000.
The account was for the Alaska Permanent Fund, which is made up of money derived from all minerals extracted from the state's lands, divided each year among people who have been resident in Alaska for over one year.
The amount varies dependent on the price of minerals, mostly oil, and varies between $300 and $2,000 per person.
While working on the department's Dell/EMC network storage system, the technician managed to lose the applications from 800,000 Alaskans in PDF format.
Thankfully the documents were also stored on paper and could be rescanned. The job took three months but the fund will be distributed this year.
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