Thursday, June 02, 2005

Incident: Hacker Steals Personal Data From UC System

Yawn. Another university incident:

Hacker Steals Personal Data From UC System - Yahoo! News:

"Thousands of Tri-staters may be at risk after their Social Security numbers ended up in the hands of a computer hacker. News 5's Brian Hamrick discovered that hackers have been successful in the area before.

More than 7,000 employees at University of Cincinnati are worried about identity theft after a computer hacker stole their Social Security numbers.

UC Vice President of Information Technology, Fred Siff, said the hacker knew how to avoid intruder alerts on the system.

"This was obviously a serious breach," Siff said. "This is a very sophisticated hack. I hope that goes without question. It wasn't just somebody fooling around. This was very sophisticated, to be able to figure out how to piece different pieces of information together."

He also said the hacker's motivation was the Social Security numbers, which have a high value in the world of high-tech thieves.

"Anyone would not want someone to take their Social Security number and use it because a Social Security number is like identification. It's your personal identification that somone could use and mess up your credit. It could change your whole life," said Michelle Norflee, UC employee.

It's not just employees who are worried. News 5 uncovered evidence that some UC computers were sold with student Social Security numbers still on the hard drive. The mistake was found before the numbers were released, but that also forced a chance in computer security.

The case is now part of an FBI investigation and at least five other universities have seen similar crimes.

So far, no identity theft crimes related to the hack have been reported."

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