Personal Info For 43,000 CU Students, Staff Breached

Computers At Health Center, College Of Architecture Hacked

The University of Colorado is trying to figure out how two computer servers that contained personal information for about 42,900 students and school employees were hacked.

The school said Thursday that someone gained unauthorized access to a computer server in the College of Architecture, which has personal information for 900 students and faculty members, and a computer server in the health center, which holds information for 42,000 students and staff.

Both computers contain names, Social Security numbers, addresses and dates of birth.

Although no credit card information was on either computer, the school is warning students, staff and faculty to be on the lookout for signs of identity theft.

The breach was first reported to the campus' information technology department July 14.

The school has since hired a computer forensics team to investigate. An early investigation shows that that one hacker came into CU's computer system from a server in France, the other hacker through a computer in Eastern Europe, officials said.

Although the potential for damage is high, there is no evidence that personal information was stolen or used, according to the university. The hackers may have been more interested in using CU's computers to download movies and music than to steal personal information, officials said.

A Web site and hot line have been set up to help answer questions for those who were affected.

According to a recent story in the Chronicle of Higher Education, more than two dozen colleges have reported online break-ins involving personal information within the past six months.

In January, the University of Northern Colorado officials reported a similar security breach. A computer hard drive that was stolen contained names, birth dates, Social Security and bank records for thousands of UNC employees and family members.

Because of these sensitive issues, a state law called for universities to phase out the use of students' Social Security numbers as the primary way to identify them. Since April, CU has assigned students new, unique, identification numbers.

Additional Information:

  • If you have questions or require additional information about the health center's computer breach, call the Wardenburg hot line at (303) 492-8741 or click here.
  • If you have a question about the breach at the architectural school, click here.

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