Thursday, April 19, 2001

Credit union warns
of security breach

The Hawaii State Federal
Credit Union tells its members
that a computer theft may
compromise records

By Rick Daysog

THE STATE'S LARGEST credit union is warning customers that its security was breached due to the recent theft of a company computer terminal.

In an April 6 letter to its members, the Hawaii State Federal Credit Union said that members' records may have been compromised as a result of the theft.

"Recently, we discovered a breach of security that may have inadvertently compromised our accounting and maintenance of credit union records," said Peter Leong, the credit union's president.

Leong said the Honolulu Police Department is investigating the theft and that the company is working with the department and its financial security specialists to ensure that customers are not affected.

Leong said the theft did not involve cash but declined to discuss further details, including where the computer was taken from or how it can be used to access the credit union's computer network.

The Hawaii State Federal Credit Union, founded in 1936, is the state's largest credit union with assets of $480 million and 49,000 members. Its members include state and city employees on Oahu, retirees and their family members.

Leong stressed that all accounts are federally insured and that the credit union would cover any funds that may be misappropriated through the stolen computer.

He said the credit union has since increased its security on all Internet transactions and is strengthening its computer firewalls to protect against unauthorized transactions.

Leong said the company also is taking a close look at all large transactions.

While the tampering of customer account records is unlikely, Leong said, the company decided to send customers a notice as a precaution.

He said that members should contact the credit union if they suspect unauthorized transactions on their accounts.

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