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Press Releases

500+ SSNs Escape NJ Lawyers Pellegrino & Feldstein
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February, 11 2008 UPDATED: February, 26 2008
DENVILLE, New Jersey. Confidential consumer information somehow escaped the New Jersey law offices of Collections Lawyers Pellegrino Feldstein, and ended up posted on several websites. The Liberty Coalition discovered cached versions of an Excel file that contained the full names, social security numbers, dates of birth, addresses, account numbers, and financial information of more than 530 individuals who had interactions with Pellegrino Feldstein in approximately 2004-2005. It also includes notes about highly private subjects, including medical conditions and employment information. The list, named "newportfolio.xls," was posted on a number of websites, including,,,, and on or before October 8, 2007. Although it was deleted prior to December 6, 2007, copies remained in at least two search engine caches as late as February, 2008. more...
Former East Carolina U. Prof. Posts Info of 736 Students Online
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February, 08 2008 UPDATED: January, 01 1900
GREENVILLE, North Carolina. On March 16, 2005 former East Carolina University math instructor Ken Butler made a temporary backup of his computer to his personal website, He didn't delete the files until January 3, 2008 when the Liberty Coalition informed him that his backed-up files included the personal information of 736 students, including 412 social security numbers, in more than 60 files. Although he knew that his students' information was backed up online, Mr. Butler believed that search engines would never find them, since he did not link directly to any of the files. more...
Minnesota State Colleges & Universities HR Department Puts Three SSNs Online
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February, 07 2008 UPDATED: January, 01 1900
ST PAUL, Minnesota. The Human Resources Division of the Minnesota State Colleges Universities website ( has posted several "Leave of Absence Summary Reports" online. All of the reports contained the names, TRA Numbers, and Leave information for dozens of employees. Each report also contained a column named "SSN." While most of the reports omitted employees' Social Security Numbers, the Dakota County Tech College Report for FY 2007 did not. That report contained the names, social security numbers, leave dates, and other information for three Dakota County Tech College employees. By placing this information online, Minnesota State Colleges Universities has placed these three individuals at increased risk of identity theft and other types of fraud. more...
Salt Lake City Assisted Living Center Posts 82 Patients' Information Online
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February, 06 2008 UPDATED: January, 01 1900
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah. In January, 2008 Inspiration Hospice posted confidential information for 82 of its patients, and contact information for 185 caretakers on its website, The information was inadvertently put online in an Excel file which contained names, partial social security numbers, dates of birth, insurance numbers, medical diagnoses, addresses, phone numbers, prescriptions, and allergies, among other confidential information. The file also documented intensely personal wishes about when a patient wished to be resuscitated, family funeral plans, and even body donation. The personal nature of this exposure is particularly shocking. more...
Rowan University Prof. Posts 370 Students' Personal Info Online
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February, 05 2008 UPDATED: January, 01 1900
GLASSBORO, New Jersey. A Rowan University professor has posted several files containing personal information for 370 Rowan University students, including 172 Social Security Numbers, 95 Dates of Birth, and 310 addresses. The files also include GPAs, phone numbers, Majors, e-mail addresses, grades, phone numbers, and physical fitness information (such as Bench Press abilities, for example). more...
University of Iowa Engineering Dpt. Exposes 215 Student SSNs Online
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February, 04 2008 UPDATED: January, 01 1900
IOWA CITY, Iowa. The College of Engineering Student Development Center posted personal information of 321 University of Iowa students on its website, including 215 social security numbers. The Excel file also included names, GPAs, e-mail addresses, student ID numbers, and other academic information. Most of the affected students appear to be seniors who applied for graduation in Spring 2006. By placing this information online, the University of Iowa has put these students at extreme risk of identity theft or other forms of fraud. more...
Iowa State University Prof. Posts 26 Students' SSNs Online
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February, 04 2008 UPDATED: January, 01 1900
AMES, Iowa. In early December, 2007 Iowa State University posted the names, social security numbers, scores, and grades of 26 former students on its website. The students all appear to have taken the course "ME 325" in the Spring of 2001 from Gloria Starns. The information, along with e-mail addresses was posted on from January 2002- January 2008. Much of the information in the files may be protected by FERPA, and all of it is sensitive. By placing students' names and social security numbers online, Iowa State University has put these 26 students at severe risk of identity theft and other kinds of fraud. more...
Oregon State Posts 19 SSNs Online
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January, 31 2008 UPDATED: August, 06 2009
CORVALLIS, Oregon. In December, 2007 the Liberty Coalition discovered sensitive personal information of 33 students and faculty on a Oregon State University Web server, including 19 social security numbers. The individuals affected appear to be participants in the 2006 NASA Robotics Academy in Maryland, under the direction of Melissa Jenson-Morgan. The personal information, which includes names, SSNs, phone numbers, GPA, Academic Majors, and other information, was placed in an Excel file on and indexed by major search engines. more...
U. Mass, Dartmouth Prof. Puts 32 Student's Personal Info Online
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January, 30 2008 UPDATED: March, 03 2008
DARTMOUTH, Massachusetts. In December, 2007 the Liberty Coalition discovered the names, grades, GPA, and partial social security numbers for 32 former students of Phuong Tu, probably from the Fall, 2004 CIS 100 class. Ironically, the sensitive information was contained posted on the Computer and Information Science Department's main web server. In the file, students' complete social security numbers appeared to be listed, with only the first number replaced by a zero. On March 3, 2008, University Registrar, Dr. Carnell Jones, Jr., informed the Liberty Coalition that all 32 students had been informed of the exposure by certified mail. more...
University of Wisconsin Prof. Posts 196 Names and Grades Online
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January, 28 2008 UPDATED: January, 01 1900
MADISON, Wisconsin. In late November, 2007 that Liberty Coalition discovered the names, scores, and Grades of 196 students of Professor Yu Hen Hu's ECE 734 classes between 1994 and 2006. The information was posted in Excel files on a University of Wisconsin - Madison server. According to the server, the files had been online for several years. Students affected by this breach are NOT at special risk of identity theft. more...
Grissom Air Reserve Base Supervisor Exposes 11 Personnel Online
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January, 25 2008 UPDATED: January, 01 1900
GRISSOM ARB, Indiana. A Grissom Air Reserve Base weather station supervisor recently posted sensitive personnel information on his personal website, The Excel file contained contact information for 11 individuals, including seven social security numbers, dates of birth, drivers license numbers, and other information. The Liberty Coalition contacted one employee who explained that he had found the information by Googling himself days earlier. He talked to the supervisor, who explained that the file was a failed attempt at creating a random number generator. For some reason the Supervisor used fellow employees' sensitive data for testing purposes. As a result, his fellow workers are now at extreme risk of identity theft. The Liberty Coalition was unable to reach the Supervisor directly. more...
Texas State University Exposes 2,215 Employee's Employment Info
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January, 24 2008 UPDATED: February, 07 2008
SAN MARCOS, Texas. The Texas State University Computer Science Department website posted the names, birth dates, hire dates, salary and employment information for 2,215 Southwest Texas State University (SWT) Faculty and Administrators in fiscal years 1998 thru 2003. According to the Excel file meta data, the file was created on February 18, 2003, and has been online since at least March 2006. According to the file, the data source is the employee profile (PEXXEMPF) file of the SWT database. more...
Texas Education Agency Exposes SSNs of Three People Online
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January, 24 2008 UPDATED: January, 01 1900
AUSTIN, Texas. Earlier this month, the Texas Education Agency has posted the names, social security numbers, and birth dates of three individuals who applied to take the GED. The report is dated March 23, 1998, and was online between at least October 1999 and December 2008, or almost 10 years. more...
13 Names and SSNs Escape from USA Funds, End Up on
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January, 23 2008 UPDATED: February, 04 2008
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana. In late November, 2007, the Liberty Coalition discovered a the names, partial Social Security Numbers, and detailed student loan information in a report titled "United Student Aid Funds: ...For the Week Ended 05/08/2004." The report includes information about 13 students or former students who had taken out student loans. Though identified as a United Student Aid (USA) Funds report, the file was posted on, by a user named "pvvanitha." The report, named "report_format.doc" was report number "DACBRT05," created on December 10, 2004 by "UFD612R1." more...
43 South Florida Workforce Participants' Personal Information Online
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January, 22 2008 UPDATED: January, 01 1900
MIAMI, Florida. South Florida Workforce, a job and career services organization, posted the names and personal information of 43 of its participants on its website. The Liberty Coalition discovered an Excel file posted on a public document sharing site containing an internal trouble ticket log with 43 names and the last four digits of social security numbers. Three of the participants' names and full social security numbers were exposed. Businesses extend credit based upon the last four digits of the social security number, and some financial institutions use it as a password, making it an extremely sensitive piece of information. By placing this information online, South Florida Workforce has put these individuals at increased risk of identity theft and other types of fraud. more...
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