PC Theft Leads To Security Review

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California Credit Union is looking at ways to increase security at its headquarters here following a recent break-in and robbery.

Steve O'Connell, California CU's chief financial officer, told The Credit Union Journal there will be many changes made after thieves broke in over the weekend of Nov. 15-16.

Among the items stolen was a computer hard drive that contained personal information for 49,000 of the credit union's approximately 80,000 members.

"We are evaluating more options on a continuous basis," he said. "We are upgrading our security cameras to digital cameras, and we are installing more of them around the building. Currently, we have electronic access codes on exterior doors but not on individual offices. We will be adding security to offices."

"From an IT [information technology] perspective, we are looking at ways to prevent someone having members' information on a hard drive," he continued. "We are not sure exactly how we are going to do that yet, but we are looking at different types of domain servers that will allow us to control access."

O'Connell said media reports that members' driver's license numbers and ages were on the hard drive were erroneous. Nor was the information from every member compromised. The hard drive did contain names and social security numbers, he said.

After the theft, California CU set up a credit-monitoring service to watch for suspicious activity on members' accounts.

"We have no knowledge the stolen information is being used in a fraudulent manner," he said. "We don't know for sure the hard drive was stolen for the information. The police officials we've talked to think it could be a random act of burglary. It's possible there was no intent or knowledge of the contents."

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