CT Attorney General Seeks More Details About Student Loan Data Breach Involving 3.3 Million
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal today announced that he is seeking more details about a data breach at Educational Credit Management Corporation (ECMC) that may have exposed personal information on 3.3 million federal student loan borrowers, including hundreds of thousands from Connecticut.
Minnesota law enforcement officials announced that they have recovered the stolen data and arrested a suspect in the data theft case, but Blumenthal said questions remain about the extent of the breach, how it happened and whether the personal data was illegally shared or distributed before it was recovered.
Blumenthal has sent ECMC a second letter this week seeking additional information by the end of this week, including a detailed explanation to support the company’s public claims that it does not believe the stolen information has been compromised.
“Millions of students — including many in Connecticut — are still in doubt that their identities and finances are secure,” Blumenthal said. “This data recovery and arrest are good news — but personal financial information may have already been leaked or looted.
“My office wants to know what caused this massive breach, how information will be protected going forward — and assurances that 3.3 million federal student loan borrowers will be fully protected from financial abuse.”
Blumenthal’s questions include:
- How many DVDs were stored in each of the stolen safes
- Was the stolen information encrypted?
- Does ECMC have an encryption policy and — if so — what is it?
- If the files stolen were unencrypted, then why?
- How long does ECMC retain files containing personally identifiable information and for what purpose?
- Explain and provide support for ECMC’s representation on its website that “it does not appear that the personally identifiable information on ECMC’s 3.3 million federal student loan borrowers has been compromised.”