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Ohio Hires Expert To Review Data Theft

Ohio has hired a computer security expert to determine the likelihood of someone getting access to the data on a stolen backup storage device, Gov. Ted Strickland said Sunday.

Matthew Curtin, the 34-year-old founder of Interhack Corp., will begin Monday reviewing what's already known is on the device, whose theft was revealed on Friday.

Also on Sunday, Strickland said the device contained the names and case numbers of the state's 84,000 welfare recipients, who face "a remote threat of identity theft," and the names and federal tax identification number of vendors that receive payroll deduction payments from the state -- about 1,200 records. Sixteen of those records contain banking information, he said.

Previously, it was revealed the device contained the names and Social Security numbers of all 64,000 state employees, as well as information about 53,797 people enrolled in the state's pharmacy benefits management program and the names and Social Security numbers of about 75,532 dependents.

Strickland again said that he has no reason to believe the information has been compromised because getting it requires special equipment and expertise.

The device was reported stolen along with a $200 radar detector out of the car of a 22-year-old intern with the state's Office of Management and Budget. The governor has issued an executive order to change the procedures for handling state data.

Strickland and Curtin said the analysis of what's on the device should be finished on Monday.

The State Highway Patrol also announced Sunday that a post office box had been established in Columbus in hopes that the storage device would be returned anonymously.

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