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Posted at 9:14 AM ET, 05/24/2010

Middle school students' info stolen

By Washington Post editors

A USB drive containing the personal information of students at a Woodbridge middle school was stolen during a burglary last week, according to a notice sent to parents on Friday.

The drive, used by Lake Ridge Middle School administrators to contact parents in the event of an emergency, contained students names, identification numbers and phone numbers, as well as other information that could identify a student.

The school will hold a meeting in the cafeteria 7 p.m. Monday to discuss the theft and answer any questions parents may have.

By Washington Post editors  | May 24, 2010; 9:14 AM ET
Categories:  Crime and Public Safety, Virginia  | Tags:  burglary, lake ridge middle school, theft, usb, woodbridge  
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We're SSN numbers included?

School administrators have no need for SSNs.

Posted by: jiji1 | May 24, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

1. The USB thumb-drive may still be around the office, school grounds or someone's pocket.

2. The person who didn't secure it and/or encrypt the data, should be disciplined. I would strongly suggest that the school adminstration brush-up on FERPA [the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (20 U.S.C. ยง 1232g)], pronto!

3. Establish processes and secure all student data, ASAP, with a sign-out sheet. Think along the lines of "chain-of-custody."

Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | May 24, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Two Questions:
1. Why was a USB drive with sensitive information out where someone could steal it. It should have been locked up in a secure location when not in use.
2. Why didn't they use a secure USB device such as an "Ironkey"? These drives are heavily encripted and equipped to self destruct if someone tries to hack them. Yes, they are a bit expensive but the cost of an Ironkey would have been far less than what it is going to cost the district to do "damage control."

If anyone from the school is reading this, you can find information about Ironkey here: Amazon also sells these drives.

Posted by: Jutti | May 31, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

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