Bank of America has put chief risk officer Bruce Thompson in charge of a 20-strong team preparing its defence against the expected upcoming publication of damaging insider info from whistleblowing Web site WikiLeaks.
In November, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told Forbes the site has a "megaleak" on an unnamed major US bank exposing an "ecosystem of corruption" that will be released early this year.
While Assange has yet to reveal the identity of the bank in question, it is widely accepted that the five gig drive in WikiLeaks' possession relates to internal documents and e-mails from Bank of America.
According to the New York Times, executives at the bank held a conference call the day after Forbes published its interview as it sought to establish a defence strategy.
Since then Thomson has set up an internal team of 15 to 20 people drawn from BofA's finance, technology, legal and communications departments, "scouring thousands of documents in the event that they become public, reviewing every case where a computer has gone missing and hunting for any sign that its systems might have been compromised," says the paper, citing anonymous sources.
In addition, consultancy Booz Allen Hamilton has been brought in to help manage the review while law firms have been asked to advise on the bank's liability in the event of customer data being disclosed.
So far the investigation has found no evidence to back up Assange's claim to have a hard drive, executives told the paper and one theory being considered is that the documents come from material given to the SEC, Congressional investigators and New York attorney general's office during investigations into the bank's acquisition of Merrill Lynch.
Meanwhile a spokesman is insisting that December's decision to snap up hundreds of abusive domain names for its senior executives and board members is unrelated to the anticipated WikiLeaks revelations.
Facing Threat From WikiLeaks, Bank Plays Defense - New York Times