Region Focus

Winter 2006

Identity Theft

Greater credit options have increased consumers' financial flexibility — and the ability of criminals to steal information. Still, the share of people victimized remains small
By Betty Joyce Nash

Security Blotter

The following is a sampling of security breaches that involved Fifth District-based organizations in 2005. Many more breaches may not be made public. Only 23 states require disclosure of breaches to people whose personal information is exposed to identity thieves.

(Location of HQ)
Description of Security BreachNumber of People Affected
Bank of America (Charlotte, NC)Company lost computer backup tapes with personal information of federal employees1,200,000
Duke University Medical Center (Durham, NC)Hacker accessed passwords for computer system5,500
East Carolina University (Greenville, NC)Hacker accessed private information of students and applicants, probably limited to one department250
George Mason University (Fairfax, VA)Hacker accessed private information of students and staff30,000
MCI (Ashburn, VA)Thief stole laptop with names and SSNs of current and former employees16,500
NC Division of Motor Vehicles (Raleigh, NC)Contract worker downloaded addresses from DMV database; caught before stealing additional information3,800,000
Omega World Travel (Fairfax, VA)Thief stole laptop with names and government credit card numbers for U.S. Dept. of Justice personnel80,000
University of Virginia (Charlottesville,VA)School accidently made names and SSNs of students and contractors of Housing Division available on Internet2,600
VA Dept. of Criminal Justice Services (Richmond, VA)Potential theft of names, phone numbers, and SSNs of job applicants (the theft of 40 names has been confirmed)3,500

Sources: Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, Identity Theft Resource Center

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