2007 Data Breaches via Stolen Laptops and Computers
It is now known in the criminal underground that Identity Theft is both easy and profitable. Thieves need personally identifiable information to commit identity theft and one way they get it is to steal a laptop or buy your personal information from another laptop thief.
Personal information has a lot of value in the black market and it is often the case where the thief is not the end recipient of the stolen data.
I know, the data breaches from Part 1 were staggering but they were mostly due to specialized identity thieves, in that some skill was required to obtain the information they wanted.
Any criminal can steal a laptop and sell it on the black market and they are learning that it is profitable.
A lot of decent citizens lost personally identifiable information due to these thefts at government agencies, universities, and reputable businesses. You may not be one of them, but as I am pointing out with this 4 part series, no one is safe.
It does not matter whether you use an Identity Protection Service like LifeLock, TrustedID or Identity Guard or take steps to prevent identity theft on your own. What matters is that you realize we are living in a new era where our personal information is everywhere and that you need to take action now to protect your good name and credit.
The following is a list of 2007 data breaches from stolen laptops and computers. The large majority of this information was not encrypted which would have at least added another layer of security.
If your personal information has been compromised by any data breach don’t allow yourself to become a victim of identity theft. Either take action yourself or sign up with one of these identity theft protection companies.
- A doctor’s laptop was stolen from the Kaiser Medical Center containing medical information on 22,000 patients.
- A laptop stolen from a car in a state auditor’s garage contained SSN’s of 1950 employees of Springfield City Schools.
- 16,000 employees of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command had their personal information compromised when a laptop was stolen from a vehicle.
- Computers containing mystery shoppers’ personal data was stolen from Speedmark Inc.
- 40,000 employee records were compromised when two laptops were stolen from an office of the Chicago Public School system.
- A laptop computer was stolen from a benefits consultant that works with Caterpillar, Inc. The laptop contains personal information on Caterpillar employees.
- An outside consultant working on the University of New Mexico’s human resource and payroll systems had his laptop stolen.
- Neiman Marcus Group compromised the information of 160,000 employees when a computer was stolen from a third-party consultant.
- 12,000 records were compromised, presumably by a former employee of Broward County’s child welfare system who stole a laptop containing information for background checks, including fingerprint scans.
- A computer stolen from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Education (TCLEOSE), a state agency that licenses police officers, compromised the data of 230,000 peace officers and jailers in the state of Texas. Editor Note: Never mind Identity Theft, the worry here is the safety of police officers and guards whose home address is in the hands of criminals.
- A Texas A&M University professor lost personal information of 8000 students while on vacation.
- A contractor for Deloitte & Touche had a laptop containing personal information stolen.
- Administaff Inc., a Houston-based provider of outsourced human resources services, had a laptop stolen which contained the personal data of 159,000 employees.
- 3,930 TSA drivers had their personal information compromised when 2 laptops were stolen.
- The Connecticut Department of Revenue Services reported a laptop “missing”. The laptop contained data on more than 106,000 taxpayers. Editor Note: Not many better candidates for Identity Protection.
- The University of Iowa has informed 184 students that a stolen laptop may have had there Social Security numbers won it.
- 800,000 people who applied for work at The Gap had their personal information compromised when a laptop was stolen from a third-party vendor.
- A laptop stolen from an employees car had personal information on 10,000 Home Depot employees.
- Roudebush VA Medical Center lost information on 12,000 veterans due to a stolen laptop.