Computer server hacked at VSU - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Computer server hacked at VSU

May 20, 2005

Valdosta - All computer servers at Valdosta State University are protected by fire walls, but this week, someone broke through. "When our system administrator came in on Wednesday morning, they discovered there had been an unauthorized access," said Joe Newton, V.S.U. Information Technology Director.

The server contained information for the V.S.U. 1-card Services. Thousands of social security numbers were available to the hacker, but investigators don't think there was access to any credit card numbers. "We don't have any evidence that any of the data was taken, but we have to assume the worst," said Newton.

The V.S.U. one card is a multipurpose id and debit card and all students and staff are required to have one. Anyone who's been enrolled or employed here since 1997 could be at risk. "There's a small window of employees, after 1999, employees who left us are purged from the system," said Newton.

Newton says about 40,000 students, staff, and alumni could be at risk for identity theft, like Meri Thome. "I never liked my id number being my social anyway, it kind of made me scared," said Thome.

If you're information was included on the server, investigators say your shouldn't panic, but you do need to pay close attention to your credit records. "You need to contact one of the three main credit reporting agencies and ask one of them to place a fraud report on your credit record," said Newton.

The server hard drives have been handed over to the G.B.I., who's working with V.S.U. Police and the Office of Information Technology to find out who's behind the hacking.

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