FTC laptops stolen; 110 to be notified of personal data theft

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission said Thursday that thieves stole two laptops from a locked vehicle containing personal data on about 110 people, many of whom were current and former defendants in FTC investigations.

Yes, that’s right, yet another one.

While the computers were password protected, the files on the computers were not encrypted, the FTC said in a statement Wednesday. The information, gathered during law enforcement investigations, included names, birthdates, addresses, Social Security numbers, and in some cases, financial account numbers.

The FTC will offer free credit-monitoring services for one year to each of the affected individuals and will notify them by mail.

Washington, D.C. has been hit by a string of laptop thefts in recent months, many of them involving government computers containing sensitive personal data.

Earlier this month the National Nuclear Security Agency revealed that personal data for 1,500 Albuquerque, N.M., employees was stolen, and in May, a laptop assigned to a Veterans Administration employee containing personal information for over 26 million active duty and discharged veterans was stolen from his home.

Yesterday, after reporting on a U.S. Department of Agriculture security breach compromising the personal information of 26,000 people, I said that I really should just write up a template for this, so the next time a government agency gets hacked, I can just drop in the name of the agency, the name of the head honcho, and post it. After all, government computer security sucks. I said I could start a Hacked Government Agency of the Month Club and never lack for an incident, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that I could do a Security Breach of the Day and never lack for material.

So I did this story from a template of the last one, changing the details as appropriate. It seems to have worked just fine.

(Thanks, Ryan.)

One thought on “FTC laptops stolen; 110 to be notified of personal data theft

  • June 23, 2006 at 11:56 am

    Are you noticing a pattern here? this is interesting all these government agencies having their asses handed to them by hackers. honestly i have my own theory on that though, i think it’s some new black ops group probably bushies new gestapo doing this just to see if they can, like training exercises.

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