Feeds

Ohio data leak was 'accident waiting to happen'

Warning unheeded as thousands of records exposed

Top three mobile application threats

A stolen backup tape containing personal data on Ohio state workers also contained the names and Social Security numbers of around 225,000 state residents.

A mounting privacy brouhaha is building over the purloined tape, stolen on 10 June from the back of an unlocked intern's car. At first it seemed that the data contained on the tape only referred to 64,000 state workers and Ohio's 84,000 welfare recipients. Subsequent checks have revealed that data on taxpayers who are yet to cash state income tax refund cheques was also on the tape, greatly increasing the number of people potentially exposed to identity fraud.

State officials point out that reading the data on the tape would require specialist hardware and expertise. Even though there's no indication that any of the stolen data has been misused, 20,000 state workers have signed up to an identity-theft protection scheme, at a cost to the Ohio taxpayers of $700,000. State officials plan to extend this protection to other groups found to have been exposed to fraud.

Snafu

The tape was nicked after a 22-year-old intern was asked to take it home as part of "standard security procedure". Gov. Ted Strickland has since stepped in to curtail the practice of workers taking backup devices home for safekeeping. He also announced a review of how state data is handled.

Questions are been asked about why the policy wasn't tightened up earlier after it emerged that the governor's transitional team warned that the state's computer security policies were lax before he took office in January.

A team of IT consultants concluded the state had "little to no policy guidance or standards" for protecting sensitive data, according to a report prepared by Strickland's transition team, unearthed by the Columbus Dispatch.

"Ohio's lack of a robust, unified privacy/security capacity lays it open to the type of data spills and breaches that have been plaguing the government and the corporate sectors in increasing numbers over the past few years," the report said, as reported by AP. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
Canadian taxman says hundreds pierced by Heartbleed SSL skewer
900 social insurance numbers nicked, says revenue watchman
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
Burnt out on patches this month? Oracle's got 104 MORE fixes for you
Mass patch for issues across its software catalog
Reddit users discover iOS malware threat
'Unflod Baby Panda' looks to snatch Apple IDs
Oracle working on at least 13 Heartbleed fixes
Big Red's cloud is safe and Oracle Linux 6 has been patched, but Java has some issues
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.