Two hard drives stolen from Washington State University office

Share this article:

Hundreds of employees, former employees and students of Washington State University are being notified that their personal information may have been compromised after two possibly unencrypted external hard drives were stolen from an on-campus office.

How many victims? About 310.

What type of personal information? The data on the hard drives has yet to be confirmed, but it is believed that employee information included Social Security numbers and student information included names and birthdays.

What happened? Two possibly unencrypted external hard drives were stolen from an office in the school of Biological Sciences in Abelson Hall.

What was the response? The theft was reported to law enforcement and an investigation is ongoing. The university is sending letters to all affected individuals.

Details: University officials were alerted of the theft on Oct. 11. The information was from 2005 to 2007. The school has encryption policies, but it was unclear whether it was activated at the time.

Quote: “We're looking at the computers they were connected to in order to see if they can give us an idea of what might have been on the drives,” Rob Strenge, assistant director of Washington State University News Services, said. “We don't know for sure at this point whether or not any Social Security numbers were actually compromised, but we're trying to be as thorough as possible just in case.”

Source:, “Hard drives missing after security breach,” Nov. 7, 2013

Share this article:

Next Article in The Data Breach Blog

Sign up to our newsletters


More in The Data Breach Blog

Thousands had data on computers stolen from California medical office

Bay Area Pain Medical Associates notified about 2,780 patients that their data was on computers stolen from its California offices.

Subcontractor breach impacts 1,700 in Dominion Resources employee wellness plan

About 1,700 people in the Dominion Resources employee wellness program have been notified that their data was accessed in a breach.

Document posted to California city website, employee data accessed

In California, a document posted to the City of Encinitas website contained data on hundreds of current and former city staffers.