Data breach at Fresno State compromises information of about 15,000 people

The data was on a hard drive reported stolen in January

FRESNO, California - A hard drive at Fresno State containing personal data for about 15,000 people was stolen in January, the university said Tuesday.

About 300 of the people are currently affiliated with the university. The larger group includes population sets such as former student athletes, sports-camp attendees, and Athletic Corporation employees, the university said. The vast majority of data files were from 2003 to 2014.

The hard drive was reported missing on Jan. 12.

The University said it has not received any reports that any of the stolen information has been accessed or misused in any way, and there is no reason to believe that the hard drive was stolen for the information it contained as other items were stolen as well.

“Some files may have contained some personal information, including names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, full or last four digits of Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, driver’s license numbers, passport numbers, usernames and passwords, health-insurance numbers and personal health information,” the university said.

The university began notifying people this week – which was soon as university officials could verify the extent of the breach and the names and contact information of those affected, and the proper notification process, officials said.

“The University is addressing this incident as a top priority to ensure that all affected parties have been notified and that information and applicable resources are made available,” said Orlando Leon, chief information officer. “Though this appears to be an isolated incident, we take any data theft very seriously and will review campus policies to ensure we have best procedures in place when it comes to security of confidential and sensitive data.”

A police investigation began immediately after the theft of the hard drive occurred and is ongoing, the university said. In addition, the university has retained the services of a nationally recognized data-security firm, which helped to quantify and identify individuals whose information may have been exposed.

Anyone who received a notification in the mail or who have concerns can call 877-646-7924.

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