Texas Lottery Commission experiences data breach of more than 100,000

Lottery winners, lottery commission employees, retailers and vendors in Texas have been the victims of a data breach by a former employee at the Texas Lottery Commission.

How many victims? More than 100,000.

What type of personal information? Names, Social Security numbers, addresses and prize amounts.

What happened?  A former computer analyst at the Texas Comptroller's Office copied the data onto computer disks.

What was the response? The employee was fired and the agency has begun sending out letters to notify the victims. It is looking into measures to prevent similar acts in the future but have not yet implemented any new security procedures, an agency spokesman said.

Details: The employee said he copied the information to use “for possible future reference as a programmer at other state agencies.”

Quote: "The guy clearly did wrong." said Dawn Nettles, the Texas Lottery Commission's unofficial watchdog. "He should not have had any personal data on his work computer. However, he should not have been able to copy the files. There should have been a password required."

Source:, Houston Chronicle, “Data on lottery winners copied,” Oct. 31, 2008.

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