VSU increases server security - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

VSU increases server security

May 23, 2005

Valdosta - Joe Severns graduated from Valdosta State University last spring. He's one of thousands of South Georgians whose identity could have been stolen when the college's 1-card server was accessed by a hacker. "I'm worried and leery, but I think I've taken the steps to be proactive," said Severns.

Severns immediately went to the VSU web site and verified that his personal information was on the server that was hacked. The web site pointed him to a credit reporting company where he put a fraud alert on his credit report. "It took about three minutes, I didn't even have to talk to anybody I just entered it through the phone and for 90 days I'll have a fraud watch on my credit," said Severns.

VSU officials still don't know who's behind the hacking or how he or she got into the system, but they're taking steps to make sure it doesn't happen again. "Since Friday, we did rebuild the 1-card server, since it had been compromised, we needed to make sure that anything that had been done to it that we didn't know about was eliminated," said Joe Newton.

They also added more fire walls around the server, which contains personal information of anyone who's been employed or enrolled at VSU since 1997. The college is required to keep their information on file for at least seven years, but the way they keep those records could soon change. "Each of our subsidiary systems within the campus doesn't necessarily need to keep information going all the way back so we are reviewing that part with this server and will all the servers," said Newton.

Investigators don't have evidence that any personal information was taken for the server, but they're urging everyone affected to put a fraud alert on their credit report to make they don't fall victim to identity theft.

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