Laptop theft compromises personal information of 5,000 student loan customers

What happened? A laptop was stolen from the headquarters of Vista Financial Inc., a subsidiary of Performant Financial Corp. and third-party vendor for American Education Services. The personal information of 5,184 customers of American Education Services – the revenue generating arm of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency - was compromised.

What types of personal information? Names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and Social Security numbers.

Details: The data was not encrypted. The Vista employee violated the security policies of Vista and AES

What was the response? AES notified all victims by letter on July 20, and recommended a fraud alert be placed with credit bureaus. A police report was filed on July 17. AES will conduct a physical security audit.

Quote: “We are deeply sorry for the concern this may cause you, but we assure you that we take our responsibility to protect the privacy and security of our customers’ information very seriously,” said Jody L.W. Angelini, vice president, AES enterprise security office.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 27, “5,000 student loan customers’ info on stolen laptop"

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