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"Portable media with personally identifiable information" containing over 3.3 million people with student loans was stolen from Educational Credit Management Corporation's headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota, over the weekend of 20/21 March, the Washington Postreported over the weekend.

ECMC, according to its web site, is "one of the country’s top 10 [student loan] guaranty agencies and the U.S. Department of Education's designated provider for student loan bankruptcy services."

In ECMC's announcement concerning the theft, "The stolen data contained information on approximately 3.3 million individuals and included names, addresses, dates of birth and social security numbers. No bank account or other financial account information was included in the data."

ECMC released the information concerning the theft after receiving approval from law enforcement authorities.

ECMC has arranged with Experian, a leading national credit protection agency, to provide affected individuals with a full suite of credit monitoring and protection services at no charge, it said.

ECMC's management, per usual, also expressed their deep regrets for the incident.

This story in today's Wall Street Journal says that 320 ECMC employee's have key card access to its headquarters, and that ECMC is reviewing its security measures.

According to the Washington Post story, Paul Kelash, a spokesman for ECMC stated that the theft was not hacking but instead called it "old-fashion theft."

Oh, that must make those 3.3 million people affected feel much better.

And, just how "old-fashion" is stealing three million records using portable media?

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

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A plate of spaghetti made from code with a single strand of "spaghetti code" being pulled from the top of the frame in a neverending loop on a blue gradient background.
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You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

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