Stolen USB Incident - November 2006

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Stolen USB Drive Incident

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Information Security Incident: Stolen USB Drive
November 2006
[Note: This page was updated on July 5, 2007.]

Charter College of Education at California State University, Los Angeles recently discovered that an employee's personal USB drive was stolen on November 5, 2006. It contained the personal information of 2,534 Charter College of Education credential program applicants, students, program completers, and faculty supervisors.  This information on the USB drive included the names and Social Security numbers of faculty supervisors, and the first names, last names, Social Security numbers (SSNs), campus identification numbers (CINs), phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of applicants, students, and program completers.

There is no indication that the thief or thieves targeted confidential information or will use it for any unlawful purpose. Nevertheless, as required by California law, the University is in the process of notifying each person whose personal confidential information was on the USB drive.

For help answering questions:

  • See a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) posted at /security/061019/faq.htm

  • If you don't find the answer to your question in the FAQ, call Charter College of Education at (323) 343-4300.

Cal State L.A. is committed to the protection of confidential information. Please be assured that the University is conducting a thorough investigation of this incident and taking action to guard against future information breaches. The University recognizes that fraud and identity theft are among the fastest growing crimes in the nation, and continues to make every effort to ensure that personal confidential information is not unnecessarily exposed.

Protection from Identity Theft
For those whose information may have been on the USB drive, the risk includes fraud, identity theft, and/or unauthorized credit card usage. Although the University cannot provide advice to affected individuals on how they should proceed, it can provide the following logistical information.

An option in detecting fraud and identity theft is to contact the credit reporting agencies listed below to complete an automated phone-in fraud alert process. When you request a free fraud alert, the agencies will automatically place fraud alerts on your accounts listed with them, and will separately mail you a credit report at no cost. The credit agencies can be contacted at:

Visit the Identity Theft Resource Center website ( to understand the effects of a fraud alert.

Once you receive your credit reports, review them for any suspicious activity. If you see any accounts you did not open or incorrect personal information, call the credit bureau(s) or your local law enforcement agency (e.g., city police department) to file a report of identity theft. The following resources can provide additional information about identity theft and consumer information:

For more information about suspicious business offers and other attempts to obtain your personal information and/or money, check these websites:

Caution: Be wary of individuals claiming to be affiliated with the University who may contact students, employees, and alumni asking for personal information such as Social Security numbers and credit card numbers with PINs. Please do not release any private information in response to any contacts of this nature. Please be aware that Cal State L.A. will only contact those members of the campus community who are affected by this incident, and will only give information about the incident and resources to help prevent possible fraud or identity theft. The University will not ask for any personal confidential information unless it is in response to an inquiry from an affected individual.