Crime & Justice

Data breach exposes thousands of California state employees

Jeroen Bennink/flickr Creative Commons

Officials say a former California state employee downloaded sensitive personal information on thousands of fellow workers, potentially exposing them to identity theft.

The Sacramento Bee reported Friday that the information included Social Security numbers for Department of Fish and Wildlife employees and contractors.

The breach was discovered before Christmas, but wasn't disclosed to employees until this week.

The California Highway Patrol is investigating. The department says the former employee did not appear to have had malicious intent. It did not say if investigators believe criminals might have accessed the data

The data includes names and Social Security numbers from employees who worked at the department and the California Wildlife Conservation Board in 2007. It included personal information for vendors who worked with the department and board between 2007 and 2010.