Laptop theft causes NASA headache

March 17, 2012 at 9:42 PM

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla., March 17 (UPI) -- The left of one NASA employee's laptop computer created a security headache for about 2,300 Kennedy Space Center workers in Florida, the space agency says.

Florida Today reported the space center informed the workers Friday that personal information, including their Social Security numbers, was at risk following the theft of a NASA human resources employee's laptop from a car outside the person's Orange County home March 5.

Kennedy Space Center spokesman Allard Beutel told Florida Today the amount of information at risk and number of employees affected turned out to be greater than initially thought. Along with Social Security numbers, the computer also held employee names, race, national origin, gender, date of birth, contact information, college affiliation and grade-point average.

The employees were told by e-mail there was no evidence the information had been abused and the "probability is low" it would be since the computer was password-protected, and the information.

"However, we cannot say with certainty the [personal information] is safe," the e-mail said.

NASA will offer the workers a year's worth of identity and credit-monitoring, Florida Today said.

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