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[ISN] 540,000 New Yorkers at risk of identity theft after breach
By MICHAEL GORMLEY
July 24, 2006
ALBANY, N.Y. - The names, addresses and Social Security numbers of as
many as 540,000 injured workers have been lost, and the state and a
contracted company are trying to protect the workers from identity
In New York, company and state officials said Monday that the data was
on computer hardware that is missing from a secured facility of the
company, Chicago-based CS Stars, an independent insurance brokerage.
Most of the workers are New Yorkers from across the state who are in
two special funds of the workers' compensation system. One group is
all workers who have a second injury and another is all workers who
have a past injury that creates new problems, said state Workers
Compensation Board spokesman John Sullivan.
The state-owned personal computer provided to CS Stars, "cannot be
located," according to a letter the company sent to the people whose
information was lost.
CS Stars had been using the computer to move the data from the state
to the company's computerized claim system, according to the letter.
The FBI is investigating, said Mike Kachel, spokesman for CS Stars'
New York City office. He declined to release details that he said
could hamper the investigation, including when the computer went
"At this time, we have no indication that any of the data stored on
the missing hardware has been used inappropriately," Kachel said.
"That doesn't lessen our desire to do what is right."
The company is offering the people identity theft insurance, 12 months
to get free credit reports and access to fraud resolution specialists.
It was the latest report in a rash of government data on individuals
being compromised, from a stolen Veterans Affairs laptop containing
information on 26.5 million veterans to a hacker in the Nebraska
child-support computer system who may have gotten data on 300,000
people and 9,000 employers.
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