Archive for December, 2007

Special Olympics, Texas Exposes 2,665 Partial SSNs Online

AUSTIN, Texas. The Liberty Coalition recently discovered what appeared to be 2,665 partial social security numbers of Coaches for the Texas Special Olympics in two Excel files on the Texas Special Olympics website. The last four digits of the social security number are often used to extend credit, and some financial institutions use it as a password. By placing this information online, the Texas Special Olympics has put these coaches at an elevated risk of identity theft. The files also contain location and coach certification information.

The files were online since at least February, 2006, and were removed in early December, 2007.

You can confirm whether you were affected by this breach by searching for your name at www.ssnbreach.org.

About SSNBreach.org

SSNBreach.org is a free online directory of victims of personal information breach, that tells you whether your personal information has been exposed.
SSNBreach.org does NOT contain sensitive data, such as Social Security Numbers (SSN), Birth Dates, Addresses, and the like. Consequently, there is no way to search for your SSN or any other type of sensitive data on SSNBreach.org. Instead of storing sensitive information, we document what information was exposed, and the situation surrounding the breach. This information allows victims to further investigate, take action, or correct any harm from the exposure.

Source: www.ssnbreach.org.

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Titanfoundation.com Posts Personal Information for 1,689 Online

In October 2007, the Liberty Coalition discovered seven files on the website titanfoundation.com exposing personal information of 1,689 individuals. The files contain names, addresses, Social Security Numbers, email addresses, and financial information. Some individuals on this list are at extreme risk of identity theft.

The files contained individual notes of a personal nature such as, “I am a housewife and have my granddaughter to care for,” “I’m pregnant, due in December, want to stay home with my new baby,” “unemployed mother of two young children,” “my family is having a rough patch with money right now and i need some extra help,” and “I recently lost my job and need an income.”

The FBI was notified, and the files were confirmed deleted within 24 hours. However, the information remained available through Google’s cache until late December, 2007.
You can confirm whether you were affected by this breach by searching for your name at www.ssnbreach.org.

About SSNBreach.org
SSNBreach.org is a free online directory of victims of personal information breach, that tells you whether your personal information has been exposed.

SSNBreach.org does NOT contain sensitive data, such as Social Security Numbers (SSN), Birth Dates, Addresses, and the like. Consequently, there is no way to search for your SSN or any other type of sensitive data on SSNBreach.org. Instead of storing sensitive information, we document what information was exposed, and the situation surrounding the breach. This information allows victims to further investigate, take action, or correct any harm from the exposure.

Source: ssnbreach.org.

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Army ROTC Releases 551 SSNs Online

FORT MONROE, Virginia. On November 3, 2007 the Liberty Coalition discovered files online that contain sensitive information for 4,057 former ROTC scholarship winners from across the country, including 551 Social Security Numbers. The remaining files contain full names, academic majors, schools, scholarship award and suspense information, and other information for 3,506 individuals. It is unclear whether any of this information is protected by FERPA.

The ROTC website’s Privacy Policy states that “All information provided by military sources on this site is considered public information and may be distributed or copied.” By making Students’ names and Social Security Numbers available online, apparently as “public information,” the ROTC put these individuals at severe risk of identity theft.

The Liberty Coalition was unable to determine how long the files were available online, but they were created or last modified as early as November 27, 2006. The file containing the most sensitive information was confirmed removed from the website on November 6, 2007. However, the information remained in Google’s search engine caches until mid December, 2007.

You can confirm whether you were affected by this breach by searching for your name at www.ssnbreach.org.

About SSNBreach.org

SSNBreach.org is a free online directory of victims of personal information breach, that tells you whether your personal information has been exposed.
SSNBreach.org does NOT contain sensitive data, such as Social Security Numbers (SSN), Birth Dates, Addresses, and the like. Consequently, there is no way to search for your SSN or any other type of sensitive data on SSNBreach.org. Instead of storing sensitive information, we document what information was exposed, and the situation surrounding the breach. This information allows victims to further investigate, take action, or correct any harm from the exposure.

Source: www.ssnbreach.org.

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University of New Mexico Breach Affects 333 Former Students

In early November, 2007, the Liberty Coalition discovered 31 separate files containing sensitive information for 333 students who took math courses from Associate Professor Vakhtang Putkaradze between Fall 2001 and Fall 2004 at the University of New Mexico. The files appear to contain full names, 177 partial social security numbers, 190 e-mail addresses, and grades for all 333 students. The last four digits of a person’s Social Security Number is used by businesses to extend credit, and may be used by some financial institutions as a password or identifier. By placing this information online, the University of New Mexico has put these students at an elevated risk of identity theft. In addition, much of the exposed information may be protected by FERPA or other applicable laws.

Information provided publicly by the University of New Mexico’s server indicates that the files have been online since as early as 2001.

UNM immediately deleted the files in question, but some remained available in search engine caches into December, 2007. According to one University of New Mexico official, the university is attempting to contact the affected students, most of whom are no longer at UNM.

University of New Mexico recently activated Google indexing for the campus website, making UNM pages more visible than they once were. The UNM official explained,

“We have notified the departmental IT staffs and asked them to take a careful look at their public data…. We do include a discussion of sensitive data in all new faculty orientations at UNM; however, this material was apparently not added to the new faculty orientation until after Professor Putkaradze arrived on campus. We are reviewing this material and ways to ensure that all faculty at UNM are aware of their obligations to protect student data. UNM takes the protection of private student data very seriously. As much as I would prefer that we did not have incidents like this, I am very grateful that you alerted me to this problem.”

You can confirm whether you were affected by this breach by searching for your name at www.ssnbreach.org.

Source: www.ssnbreach.org.

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ID Thief Gives Away 49 New York Residents’ Personal Info

An identity thief who identifies himself as “Cypher,” explained how he went dumpster diving in New York for sensitive information. Though the Liberty Coalition discovered the file in August, 2007 and reported the breach to the FBI on August 26, the file remained online several months, and was confirmed deleted only on December 7, 2007.

The text file he posted, entitled “Dumpster Diving… Part II.” contained addresses and social security numbers for 49 New York residents. The file boasts, “CONTACT ORGANIZED CONFUZION VIA VOICEMAIL: UNITED STATES HEAD QUARTERS 1+212-415-0239 AFTER 22:00″ The number turned out to be a fax number.

This file was reported to the FBI (without any visible action on the FBI’s part), and the Liberty Coalition requested Google to purge it from its caches.

You can confirm whether you were affected by this breach by searching for your name at www.ssnbreach.org.

Source: www.ssnbreach.org.

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Hundreds of U of Delaware Chemistry Students at Risk of ID Theft

NEWARK, Delaware. On November 15, 2007 the Liberty Coalition discovered 20 separate files containing sensitive personal information for roughly 582 University of Delaware Chemistry students who participated in the Chemistry mentoring program between 2000 and 2004. This information included full names, dates of birth, roughly 482 social security numbers, addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, home addresses, and a range of other personal information of current or former University of Delaware students. Students affected by this breach may be at extreme risk of identity theft. The files were available to the public on a University of Delaware website.

According to the server, the files had been posted online for as long as seven years. Officials have indicated that the University of Delaware switched away from using Social Security Numbers as identifiers several years ago, and that they did a text-search for social security numbers on their servers at that time. Unfortunately, their internal search engine failed to scan non-plain text files such as MS Excel files.

All of the files are posted in an online folder belonging to Professor Harold White of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, who was shocked to find that they were there. As is often the case, the files were posted on an online file server that requires a password to upload files, but which is available to the public without a password.

You can confirm whether you were affected by this breach by searching for your name at www.ssnbreach.org.

Source: www.ssnbreach.org.

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