TEXAS COMPTROLLER SECURITY BREACH - APRIL 11, 2011
AUSTIN — Social Security numbers and other personal information for 3.5 million people were inadvertently disclosed on a publicly accessible state computer server for a year or longer, Comptroller Susan Combs revealed Monday.
The information breach — believed to be the most extensive ever in Texas and one of the largest of its kind nationally — included names, addresses and Social Security numbers of all those on the list. In some cases, dates of birth and driver’s license numbers were also listed.
Aides to Combs declined to say whether anyone had downloaded large amounts of the data, but they said there was no evidence any of it had been used to commit identity theft.
The Texas attorney general’s office and the FBIhave launched a criminal investigation.
An undisclosed number of employees in the comptroller’s office were fired after the breach was discovered at the end of March, said agency spokesman R.J. DeSilva. He said personnel policies prevent him from saying who or how many lost their jobs.
Combs expressed regret and anger over the incident.
“We take information security very seriously, and this type of exposure will not happen again,” she said in a written statement.
The breach was discovered less than two weeks ago when other folders were being scanned in the server, DeSilva said.
The information was data from the Teacher Retirement System of Texas covering 1.2 million education employees and retirees that was transferred to the comptroller’s office in January 2010; Texas Workforce Commission records on 2 million people that was transferred in April 2010; and Employees Retirement System of Texas data covering 281,000 state employees and retirees, transferred in May 2010.
Data from the state employee retirement system covered current and former state agency employees with benefits and retired state employees who were in the system in April 2010.
PROPOSED STATE WIDE SCHEDULE FOR "SPECIAL TEXAS COMPTROLLER SECURITY BREACH" IDENTITY THEFT AWARENESS & EDUCATION SEMINAR
Date of Security Breach: April 11th, 2011 Date of Public Notification: April 13th, 2011 Affected State Agencies of Breach is:
Texas Workforce Commission (TWC): 2 million records transfered in April 2010 to Comptroller.
Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS): 1.2 million education employees and retirees that was transferred to the comptroller’s office in January 2010.
Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS): 281,000 state employees and retirees, transferred in May 2010.
The following information is a sample of a typical seminar schedule at each location we will be visiting.
IDTPAS01: ID Theft Awareness/Prevention Seminar
Seminar Dates: Monday, May 23rd, 2011 and Friday May 27th, 2011 - 7:00 P.M. - 10:00 P.M. (Registration Desk Opens at 6:00 P.M.) Limited Seating - First Come/First Serve.
Venue Location: Holiday Inn Select Richardson (North Texas), 1655 North Central Expressway, Richardson, Texas 75080, Phone Number: 972-238-1900
Seminar Program Topics:
No. 1 - Texas Comptroller Security Breach
No. 2 - How Credit Privacy Numbers (CPN) and Children Identity Theft Is Becoming America's New Financial Nightmare.
No. 3 - How Identity Theft Committed By Illegal Immigrants Is Forcing America's Legal Workforce To Accept A Lower "Standard of Living" and "Third World Wages".
Our seminars are normally priced at $40.00 per person, but due to the current economic situation in America, our pricing has been reduced for all seminars and work shop. If you are a member of the affected classes listed above (TWC, TRS, and ERS) from this "Security Breach", we will be giving a special code to your organizations so you can receive a special five dollar ($5.00) discount. However, if you are not a member of these classes, please help support these "ID Theft Victims" by attending our seminars at our published price. Thank You!
Current Price: $20.00 (On-Line Registration Only).
At-the-Door-Price: $30.00 (We will reserve only 50 seats for Walk-Ins).
Remember, we only have 250/300 seats available (See Venue Locations) for each seminar. All seats are on a first come, first serve basis. It is recommended that you register early to insure you don't miss out on this very important seminar. Go to Seminars/Southwest Seminars for registration. Currently we accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and E-Checks.
Due to the number of locations in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex and the number of seminars that are planned in other cities throughout Texas, registration will be conducted only through our on-line secured shopping cart.
Public support for the awareness seminars is needed in each host city so we can set aside part of the proceeds to host the "Identity Theft Victims Support Group Workshops".
This support will allow us to offer the 'Identity Theft Victims Workshops" FREE to all victims, because they have already paid enough. Because of the nature of these seminars, individual victim stories will not be discussed during the question and answer period. Remember, we have a limited number of seats, so No-Shows could prevent someone else from attending who really needs to be there.
REFUND POLICY: FEES ARE NON-REFUNDABLE DUE TO LIMITED SEATING. SO PLEASE, ONLY REGISTER IF YOU CAN ATTEND.
IF YOU ARE TRANSFERRING RESERVATIONS TO SOMEONE ELSE, PLEASE BRING ON-LINE CONFIRMATION PRINTOUTS TO SEMINAR AND WE WILL ALLOW YOU TO REPLACE REGISTERED PARTIES SEATING AT THE DOOR.
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You can send your ID Theft Victim Stories to : Identity Theft Victims U.S., Attention: Victim Stories, P.O. Box 2723, Wylie, TX. 75098-2723