Thieves Steal Fresno State Hard Drive With Sensitive Information, Thousands Affected


FRESNO, Calif. — Fresno State University sent out an alert and email on Tuesday to their students and staff, after a security exposure.

In January, thieves broke into North Gym and stole laptops, electronics, as well as an external hard drive, holding some very sensitive information.

The data exposure, affecting 15,000 people and 300 of them are still at the University.

“This is very unfortunate in many regards and we are working to empathize and offer support and resources,” said Orlando Leon, Chief Information Officer for Fresno State.

They said the files are from 2003 to 2014. They hold sensitive information including, addresses, social security numbers, credit cards and others.

“It’s a gold mine for someone who wants to use that information nefariously,” said J. Collin Petersen.

J. Collin Petersen with J. IT Outsource says having sensitive information on an external hard drive is a breach waiting to happen.

“It is a huge risk to have such sensitive information connected to an external drive that is very accessible and portable,” said J. Collin Petersen, J. IT Outsource.

Fresno State employees said there is no evidence that information has been breached. Petersen says it may take some time.
“It takes a number of cycles through someone’s credit report to have any sort of evidence of nefarious activity,” said Petersen.

He is urging those affected to get credit monitoring.

Fresno State will provide anyone affected with one year of free credit monitoring.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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