Vermont credit union discards unencrypted data of 85,000

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Two unencrypted backup tapes from Vermont's largest credit union, the Montpelier-based Vermont State Employees Credit Union, are believed to have been accidentally thrown away.

How many victims? Up to 85,000 credit union members.

What type of personal information? Names, Social Security numbers, driver's license numbers, addresses, account information and transaction records.

What happened? The tapes were discovered missing during an inventory check in September. An internal investigation led credit union officials to believe the data had been thrown away.

What was the response? Notification letters were sent to customers Wednesday. The financial institution is providing one year of free year credit monitoring to victims. The credit union also set up a temporary call center for customers with questions.

Details: There have been no cases, so far, of customers reporting fraud due to the incident.

Quote: “[T]here was no indication of a crime, and no indication this information was used and every indication it was thrown out in the trash and is in the landfill,” Steve Post, the credit union's CEO.

A similar breach happened at TD Bank in March, where customers were notified that two backup tapes containing their personal data had been lost -- six months after the fact.

Source: VTDigger.org, VSECU data for 85,000 customers ends up in landfill,” Oct. 24, 2012.

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