TSA Loses Hard Drive With Personal Information
May 5, 2007 11:43 AM
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The Transportation Security Agency is the latest government agency to lose or have data stolen
An external computer hard drive containing the personal, bank and payroll information of up to 100,000 former and current Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees was reportedly stolen from a human resources office in Crystal City, VA. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Secret Service are now helping the TSA investigate the theft -- FBI is conducting the investigation, with the Secret Service conducting a "forensic review of equipment and facilities."
The TSA learned about the missing hard drive sometime Thursday, but the agency informed possibly affected employees Friday evening -- a delay which has
upset some employees
. TSA spokesperson Ellen Howe reassured agency employees by stating the TSA was "not trying to stall."
"TSA has no evidence that an unauthorized individual is using your personal information, but we bring this incident to your attention so that you can be alert to signs of any possible misuse of your identity," said Kip Hawley, TSA Administrator.
The TSA is unaware if the hard drive has left its premises. The hard drive contained sensitive information on employees who worked for the TSA from January 2002 until August 2005. The agency employs almost 50,000 people and is the agency responsible for securing transportation systems in the country, including airports and railroads.
Letters were sent out to all affected employees promising one year of credit monitoring services.
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5/7/2007 3:32:33 PM
The funny thing is that with most tech companies, when it comes to sensitive data, it's usually encrypted.
Most pathetic institutions like schools (universities), and government organizations somehow lack decent IT departments to manage their data security.
Take my university which was the case of many stolen laptops and lost data in the past 2 years. It's ridiculous. A glance at simple management of computers shows that IT does a terrible job. It's funny how most of our computer labs operate at extremely high temperatures and things break left and right. Moreoever, it's also funny how they can't even run a decent email server for 30,000 individuals. How do you expect them to even manage sensitive data on a laptop?
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