Stolen laptop contains private info of local teachers

Jeremy Aldrich -- May 13th, 2008

Harrisonburg City Schools employees received word late today that a laptop containing names and Social Security numbers of those who took part in the school division’s dental plan several years ago has been stolen. The laptop was owned by BB&T Insurance, and more information will be forthcoming.

Why private information related to long-dead accounts was being stored on a laptop is not clear, and BB&T Insurance has not yet said what they will do to safeguard the affected parties. I wonder if information about other BB&T Insurance customers might have also been on the laptop, and if so how many local people might be affected?

If your personal information has been stolen, the Federal Trade Commission suggests filing an initial fraud alert and monitoring carefully for any strange activity on your accounts.

17 Responses to “Stolen laptop contains private info of local teachers”

  1. bwater resident says:

    I love when teachers leak info

  2. Gxeremio says:

    Is there a reason to keep this secret?

  3. David Miller says:

    BB&T should have stringent safety controls on their portable data machines (such as laptops, blackberries, vpn access etc.). If they don’t, they are liable and they know it.

  4. linz says:

    BB&T shouldn’t even have that kind of info on a PORTABLE data machine in the first place.

  5. David Miller says:

    I guess the real question will be, did they have biometric and or standard security setup on the machine itself. Otherwise they are up a creek.

  6. Justin C says:

    The sad thing is how easy it is to encrypt sensitive data. There’s built-in ways to do it with Windows and good products you can buy for less than $100.

    Considering the liability they’re looking at it just boggles the mind how this could happen (and not just here, it happens to much bigger companies and the government)

  7. Seth says:

    i happened to find out this morning that the info on that laptop wasn’t limited to employees of city schools. i didn’t see the dnr piece on it yet, so i don’t know if they’ve got more information than what’s been posted here. i assume that bb&t is contacting all companies whose employee’s information may have been compromised….

  8. Gxeremio says:

    Seth, I’d be interested to hear what you’ve learned.

    By the way, BB&T has YET to contact the teachers whose data was stolen.

  9. finnegan says:

    There’s no indication in the DNR story from the 15th that there are others (outside of city school employees) whose information was stolen.

    It just says, “A BB&T Insurance laptop containing the personnel information of some Harrisonburg City Schools employees was stolen…”

    What did you find out, Seth?

  10. Seth says:

    yeah i looked and saw that. one would think that it would be pretty logical to ask whether the breach was limited to employee’s of the city schools or whether there were other’s who do business with bb&t who were affected.

    i really don’t know anymore than what i posted above (i.e. the info on the laptop wasn’t limited to city school employees).

    might be worth checking into…

  11. TM says:

    Some info was included in the WSVA story from 5/14. It’s not on the website anymore, but here’s the bit I’m talking about:

    “The laptop contained names, birth dates and social security numbers of those who took part in the school’s dental plan in the past. A BB&T spokesperson says the information may have included in some cases medical history and salary. It also contained similar employee information from several other employers in Virginia, involving about 5,000 individuals altogether. The information was being used to develop insurance proposals for the employers.”

  12. bwater resident says:

    Pretty logicial if they were a national media outlet. They cover the SV. The relevant info was provided to their readers.

  13. finnegan says:

    If you want to blindly accept that whatever the DNR (or any other single news source) includes is all you ever need to know, that’s your choice, “bwater resident.” The WSVA report says, “several other employers in Virginia.”

    It would be great if WSVA had permalinks and archives for individual stories.

  14. finnegan says:

    Also, “bwater resident,” I can see IP addresses, and I know which building you’re posting from.

    Wink, wink.

  15. Dave Briggman says:


    WSVA always says “no one’s more up to date than you are” after all of their local news…I believe Karl.

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