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Fresno State reported today that the theft of an external hard drive on campus has potentially exposed the personal data of up to 15,000 people.

published on March 6, 2018 - 11:25 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Fresno State announced today a data-breach incident that potentially affects 15,000 people, including 300 currently affiliated with the university.

Those affected includes former student athletes, sports camp attendees and Athletic Corporation employees, according to a news release. The data ranges from 2003 to 2014.

The information was contained on an external hard drive that was stolen, along with other items, from a campus building. The incident was reported Jan. 12. University officials said to date they have received no reports of any of the stolen information being misused.

Some of the files may have contained names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, full or last four digits of Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, driver’s license numbers, passport numbers, user names and passwords, health-insurance numbers and personal health information.

Affected individuals were notified starting this week, according to university officials. A police investigation of the theft is ongoing. In addition, the university has retained a nationally recognized data-security firm, which helped to quantify and identify individuals whose information may have been exposed.

“The University is addressing this incident as a top priority to ensure that all affected parties have been notified and that information and applicable resources are made available,” said Orlando Leon, chief information officer. “Though this appears to be an isolated incident, we take any data theft very seriously and will review campus policies to ensure we have best procedures in place when it comes to security of confidential and sensitive data.”

To help reduce the possibility of similar incidents from happening in the future, Fresno State said it is reinforcing procedures with employees regarding the proper storage of confidential information and the importance of protecting portable electronic devices, according to a news release.

People notified of the potential data breach of their personal information are encouraged to review the notification letter and steps outlined to check if any suspicious activity occurred on their credit reports.

Free credit monitoring will be offered for one year to those whose Social Security number, financial account information or driver’s license was exposed.

Those who received a notification in the mail or who have concerns may call: 877-646-7924. The call center is open Monday through Friday, between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.


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