Friday, June 23, 2006

Oops, they did it again! Will This NEVER end?!

(Note from blog administrator: Some of you bloggers wanted a picture of Dr. Schmidt for the lecture brochures you are making when he comes to speak at your organization. He provided us with this air-brushed version of himself!)

From Prof. Schmidt:

One of my most aggressive and excellent students in the ID theft class sent this info tonight-

HOPE YEN, Associated Press Writer filed the following story on June 22, 2006 -

  • "WASHINGTON - The government agency charged with fighting identity theft said Thursday it had lost two government laptops containing sensitive personal data, the latest in a series of breaches encompassing millions of people.

    The Federal Trade Commission said it would provide free credit monitoring for 110 people targeted for investigation whose names, addresses, Social Security numbers — and in some instances, financial account numbers — were taken from an FTC attorney's locked car."

My opinion? This is one of the truly outrageous breakdowns of our government.

The following are the other deficiencies in the Federal government that were reported in this AP story:

Agriculture Department. A hacker broke into the computer system and got the names, Social Security numbers and photos of 26,000 Washington-area employees and contractors.

Department of Health and Human Services. Confidential information of more than 17,000 Medicare beneficiaries was probably breached when an insurance company employee accessed the data from a hotel computer and did not to delete the file after accessing it.

Dept of Energy. Social Security numbers and other data for nearly 1,500 people working for the National Nuclear Security Administration were compromised when a hacker entered the computer system.

I don't know about you, but after reading this I am again extremely furious that the heart of the entity that is supposed to protect us from data losses the FTC could lose sensitive data. This careless attorney left his laptops in his car?!

Do YOU EVER leave your laptop in your car?! What kind of a sloppy moron attorney are working for the FTC the most crucial agency responsible for identity protection?! Are these lawyers civil service protected? If yes, then we are screwed (you can't fire these people). If not, fire them now!

Our Identity Theft Institute recommends that computers, portable hard drives, "thumb drives", CD's with ID data, ipods with data, or any other storage devices be encrypted, carried "on the body" of the person given responsibility of this precious information.Computers and digital storage devices MUST be access password protected so no ordinary crook can even log on. (Crackers of course can get into almost anything but encryption of data will keep almost anyone without the decryption key out).

Is that too much to ask for from the FTC, VA, Dept. of Agriculture and other government entities? I think not!

Steffen Schmidt, Ph.D.

  • (Note from The Identity Theft Institute Project Manager: Prof. Schmidt has 10 slots for speaking engagements left. Please do NOT contact Dr. Schmidt - The Scheduling Department of the ID Theft Institute will try to schedule a talk by Dr. Schmidt for your organization).


At 11:45 PM, Anonymous Karen J. said...

Professor Schmidt, what can we do to make identity theft a talking point in the upcoming elections?


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