BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
July 14, 2006
Northwestern University officials are trying to contact about 17,000
students and applicants to the school after discovering hackers broke into
nine desktop computers on campus that contained personal information, the
school said Friday.
There is no indication the hackers who breached the computers in the
Office of Admissions and Financial Aid in May gained access to the
personal information or even were aware that the computers contained
Social Security numbers, addresses and other information, according to
Chuck Loebbaka, the school's director of media relations.
But as a precaution, the university is trying to contact, via e-mail or
letters, affected undergraduates, graduate students and applicants,
The university also is advising anyone who provided Social Security
numbers to the admissions and financial aid office to contact the fraud
departments of the three major credit bureaus--Equifax, Experian, and
Trans Union. The precaution is recommended by the Federal Trade
Commission. Further, the school said those affected may want to ask credit
bureaus to issue fraud alerts on their accounts.
The school said the hackers were able to breach troubleshooting software
that allows technical support staffers to access the computer functions
from off campus. When the school discovered the breach in May, the
computers were shut down and officials tried to determine who was affected
and what information may have been at risk.
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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