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Stolen state laptop contains personal info

Posted November 5, 2008

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— A laptop computer belonging to an employee of the state Division of Aging and Adult Services was stolen in Atlanta last month as the employee was returning from a conference, state officials said Wednesday.

The laptop contains personal information about some clients receiving home and community services from DAAS, and state officials have contacted those people since the Oct. 25 incident to alert them to the potential for identity theft.

The information on the laptop was password-protected, officials said.

A second group of DAAS clients will receive a different letter informing them that certain information about them was on the laptop and that they should be cautious of unusual phone calls or other inquiries, officials said.

Anyone with questions or concerns is asked to call the state Department of Health and Human Services CARE-LINE, Information and Referral Service at 1-800-662-7030 or 1-877-452-2514 for hearing-impaired people.

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  • ranquick Nov 6, 2008

    All state and Federal devices SHOULD have LO JACK. This was stolen last month and we are now just hearing about this, a whole month for someone to crack the password and used the info onthe laptop. And yes any password can be cracked given enough time!

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Nov 6, 2008

    Password protected, as in a Quickbooks Company file. Before you can open the file with Quickbooks, you would have to know the password that is stored in the Company file. Without it, you can't open that file with Quickbooks. The odds are very low that anyone with extreme techie skills, and the will to sell personal info, got this laptop. If so, they still have to get past the password.

  • amyrn Nov 6, 2008

    We do have encryption on our laptops in our office. We are not allowed to use personal devices like flash drives either. My laptop is never out of my sight unless it is locked up in the vehicle out of sight.

  • nosmo_king58 Nov 6, 2008

    Not sure if all agencies have implemented this, but some are using McAfee Safeboot to encrypt the entire hard disk. That may be what WRAL is referring to as "password protected".

  • durhamguy Nov 6, 2008

    If they files on the laptop were not encrypted, it would be very easy to take the hard drive out and copy all of the data off to another computer in a matter of minutes.

  • thought Nov 5, 2008

    There is no excuse for this! NONE. this person should lose their job. There is no reason to have any computer with personal information out of the office.
    This happened in Ohio about a year or two ago- those 100,000 people now have to get a fraud alert on their credit every three months ( only thoise who want to if they fear )
    I'm sorry but i have no tolerance for people being lazy or just plain stupid at the cost of others.

  • whatelseisnew Nov 5, 2008

    Please tell me the personal information was also encrypted.

  • colliedave Nov 5, 2008

    With the danger of laptops being stolen/lost why isn't there a State policy preventing information being stored portable media?