State Error Compromises Millions of Personal Identities
by: Laurie Johnson, April 11, 2011 9:04:00 pm
The security breach affects about 3.5 million people who are members of the Teacher's Retirement System, the
Texas Workforce Commission and the Employees Retirement System of Texas.
R.J. DeSilva is a spokesman in the Texas Comptroller's office. He says a series of errors led to the private information
"A year ago these files had been transferred by the different agencies, and when they were transferred here to the comptroller's office the data had not been encrypted and it's required to be encrypted. But on top of that, internal procedures were not followed here at the agency and the data was allowed to be kept on a server that was accessible to the public."
The information, which included names, addresses, social security numbers, birth dates and driver's license numbers,
was on the public server for about a year before an employee discovered the error on March 31st.
DeSilva says they have no reason to believe any of the information was misused, but a criminal investigation is
"We immediately took information from that server and we've handed it over to the Attorney General's office because they've got the experts in cyber activity and expertise in cyber activity. So they're conducting their criminal investigation, as well, as we proceed in notifying people and letting people know about steps they can take to protect themselves."
The comptroller's office is sending out letters this week to those who may have been compromised. They've also set up a website and a toll-free number (855-474-2065) people can call for assistance with identity protection.