Hotels.com credit-card numbers stolen
Names and credit-card numbers of 243,000 Hotels.com customers were on a laptop stolen from an Ernst & Young employee.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - The names and credit-card numbers of 243,000 Hotels.com customers were on a laptop computer stolen from an employee of accounting firm Ernst & Young, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Hotels.com, which is owned by Expedia (Research) and Ernst & Young, its auditor, began notifying customers that their information was stolen last week.

The theft occurred in February, according to news reports, but Ernst & Young only recently was able to determine what was on the computer's hard drive.

A spokesman from Ernst & Young declined to confirm the exact date of the theft.

"The security and confidentiality of our client information is of critical importance to Ernst & Young and we regret any inconvenience or concern this incident may have caused Hotels.com and their customers," Ernst & Young said in a statement.

Ernst & Young added that the computer was password-protected there was no indication the information had been accessed or misused.

Other personal items were stolen as well, according to the accounting firm.

"The crime appears to be a random theft, and we have no indication that the thief was specifically targeting the laptop or any information contained on it."

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