Criminal defense firm joins the ranks of those who have backup drives stolen from cars (updated)

Nothing good can come from a breach notification letter that begins:

 During the early morning hours on June 27, 2014, a hard drive containing backup files for one of the firm’s servers was stolen from the locked trunk of an employee’s vehicle.

Not surprisingly, there’s even more bad news. Vincent M. Imhoff, Managing Director of Los Angeles-headquartered Imhoff & Associates, a criminal defense firm, writes:

Working with outside computer forensic experts, we have confirmed that the hard drive may have contained your name, birthday, Social Security number, driver’s license number, and contact information, such as your home address, e-mail and phone number.

It’s not clear from the notification letter whether the letter has been sent to clients, employees, or both.

Those affected are being offered free services for one year through AllClear ID,

In response to the breach, Imhoff writes, the firm will be “strengthening our internal processes with respect to encryption and enhancing our policies, procedures and staff education regarding the safeguarding of company property and information.”

It is not clear from the notification, a copy of which appears on the California Attorney General’s web site,  how many people had personal information on the stolen drive and whether there was any encryption at all for the data on the drive (although from the wording of the letter, it would seem that there wasn’t any). has sent an email inquiry to the firm and will update this entry as more information becomes available.

Update: Imhoff did not respond at all to the inquiry sent by, and as a commenter below notes, would not discuss details when she called them. But their external counsel’s notification to the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office reveals that it was employee and client data on the stolen drive.  Their notification also states that the hard drive was not encrypted, but “special software” would be required to read most of the information on the drive.

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3 comments to “Criminal defense firm joins the ranks of those who have backup drives stolen from cars (updated)”

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  1. Jeanne Price - August 29, 2014

    Just reached the attorney handling Imhoff’s breach notifications. She declined to indicate whether the device was even password protected. I assume from her remarks it was not. What is most unsettling here is that when asked whether any client legal files, pleadings etc. were on the device, she also declined to comment.

    An unsettling bit of news for any of Imhoff’s clients. The spokeswoman also would not discuss how far back the files went. Imhoff is approaching its 11th year in business and as of last September had handled over 10,000 criminal cases.

    • Dissent - August 29, 2014

      Not surprised by any of what you report, but kudos for trying. They’ve not replied to others’ queries, too.

  2. Dissent - August 29, 2014

    Note the update to the post.

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