Hacker hits university employee records server

About 1,600 current and former employees of the University of Georgia in the US are being notified that their Social Security numbers, stored on a campus server, may have been seen by a hacker operating from a foreign country. In an announcement Thursday, the Athens-based school said the security breach was discovered September 19 by university IT staffers and that the intrusion was stopped. No credit card information was accessed during the incident, the university said.

The affected records belong to current and former employees of the university's College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Some 2,429 Social Security numbers may have been exposed during the breach, but because about 800 of those are duplicate records, the actual number of affected individuals is about 1,600.

All potential victims are being notified of the breach by e-mail or postal mail and are being advised of an ongoing investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and by the FBI, said Tom Jackson, a university spokesman.

So far, there have been no reports of identity theft or any other illegal use of the information, Jackson said.

"While there is no evidence that information was actually accessed, the potential exists for the intruder to match names and Social Security numbers," said Stan Gatewood, the university's chief information security officer. "So it is imperative that we notify the individuals involved, so that they may take appropriate steps to protect against identity theft."

The university also faced a hacker incident in January 2004, Jackson said, when some 32,000 credit card numbers were exposed after a hacker broke into student application files. No perpetrator was ever identified and no reports have ever been received of anyone using the stolen credit card numbers, he said.

Two weeks ago, a laptop computer that had been stolen in March from the University of California, Berkeley, was recovered after investigators discovered it had been bought over the Internet by a man in South Carolina.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Todd R. Weiss

Computerworld
Show Comments

Brand Post

Shining a light on creativity

MSI has long pushed the boundaries of invention with its ever-evolving range of laptops but it has now pulled off a world first with the new MSI Creative 17.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?