Local News

Security breach affects people with student loans

Posted April 14, 2010

— Personal information of about 97,000 North Carolina residents with student loans was compromised during a recent security breach, officials said Wednesday.

Data was reportedly stolen from the Minnesota headquarters of Educational Credit Management Corp. on March 20 or 21, officials said. The data included the names, addresses, birth dates and Social Security numbers of 3.3 million student loan borrowers nationwide. Bank account or credit card numbers were not included.

ECMC is notifying North Carolina consumers whose information was lost and offering them one free year of credit monitoring, Attorney General Roy Cooper said. More than 230 people who were notified have contacted the Consumer Protection Division in Cooper's office since last Friday.

“Finding out that your data has been lost or stolen is scary, but there are some simple things you can do to protect yourself, like placing free security freezes on your credit,” Cooper said in a statement.

In addition to accepting free credit monitoring or other services offered by ECMC, he recommended that people who get a security breach notification alert credit bureaus, consider freezing their credit to prevent new accounts from being opened in their names and continue checking their credit frequently.

“With just a few key pieces of information, an identity thief can pretend to be you and run up debts in your name,” he said. “If you learn that your information may be in the wrong hands, act fast to protect yourself.”


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  • brady51h Apr 15, 2010

    And yet the Government thinks our medical records should be on line. The CEO of this Company that was breached should go to jail for a couple of months and company should be heavily fined. These Companies must be held accountable

  • janice33rpm Apr 15, 2010

    In David Scott’s words, everyone needs to be a mini-Security Officer today. I think Mr. Scott, the author, is right: Most individuals and organizations enjoy Security largely as a matter of luck. For some free insight, check out his blog, “The Business-Technology Weave” – you can Google to it, or search on the site IT Knowledge Exchange which hosts it. Anyone else here reading I.T. WARS? I had to read parts of this book as part of my employee orientation at a new job. The book talks about a whole new culture as being necessary – an eCulture – for a true understanding of security, being that most identity/data breaches are due to simple human errors. It has great chapters on security, as well as risk, content management, project management, acceptable use, various plans and policies, and so on. Just Google IT WARS – check out a couple links down and read the interview with the author David Scott at Boston’s Business Forum. (Full title is I.T. WARS: Managing the

  • Travised Apr 15, 2010

    Medical facilities ask for that TaxMan.

    Can we blame this on Obama's new "Health Care plan"? It took over Student Loans!

  • godnessgracious Apr 14, 2010

    seriously inquisitor is says right there march 20/21, I heard about this breech on slashdot around then.

  • inquistitor Apr 14, 2010

    More importantly...how long ago was this breech? We tend to hear about these things 6months or more after the incident. By then you could be in for a fight to fix what has already been done.

  • Tax Man Apr 14, 2010

    Why isn't this data encrypted? There should be no place where your full name, date of birth and social security number are accessible at the same time! Just stupid. In fact the SSN should ONLY be used by Social Security - none of your creditors should ever have it and the IRS should not have it - by using one number that you cannot change no matter what happens for all things is just dumb. Hope this does not impact my kids and their student loan accounts here.