Computer thefts net breach of 2.5 million personal records in 2004

SAN RAFAEL, Calif., Nov. 1, 2004 -- All eyes turned to California's "October Surprise" -- a network hack that led to one of the largest data security breaches on record. In October, the state apologized for the unauthorized exposure of Social Security Numbers and other records of more than 1.4 million University of California students.

"The focus on California is due to SB1386, a law that requires reporting security breaches," says Noah Groth, president of PC Guardian Anti-Theft Products Inc. PC Guardian tracks computer thefts year-round. "We've found dozens of thefts in the US and Canada that have resulted in the exposure of nearly 2.5 million records," says Groth. "Each time, risk could have been reduced if computers had been secured using a cable lock."

For example:

1. The Ohio Democratic Party announced the theft of computers containing information about local party finances, party members, candidates and volunteers.

2. The Republican Party in Washington state announced the theft of three laptops with confidential Bush-Cheney campaign information.

3. Reynolds Cancer Support Center warned a server containing personal health information was stolen from its Fort Smith, Ark., office.

4. A Lake Forest, Calif., direct mail marketer reported the theft of a server containing financial records of more than 100,000 credit union customers in the western United States.

5. First Option Financial reported the theft of thousands of records when its computers were stolen in Houston, Texas.

6. Wells Fargo & Company lost more than 200,000 customer records when laptops were stolen in California and Texas.

7. Airlines Reporting Corporation, Arlington, Virginia, reported the theft of computers containing data on customers from United, Northwest, Delta and American airlines.

8. Kern County Mental Health Office lost 110,000 Medicare records when a laptop was stolen from its Bakersfield, Calif. office.

PC Guardian helps enterprises avoid data breaches by developing advanced computer security lockdowns. "We give enterprises the tools they need to protect data, reduce the risks of data loss and avoid having the notify customers of a breach," says Groth.

Founded 20 years ago, PC Guardian offers more than 150 computer anti-theft solutions -- more than any other manufacturer. For more information, visit or call 800-288-8126 (415-459-0190).

SOURCE PC Guardian

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