AOH :: ISN-3075.HTM

UI warns research subjects of possible security breach

UI warns research subjects of possible security breach
UI warns research subjects of possible security breach 

By the Press-Citizen
September 29, 2006

 From University News Services:

The University of Iowa is contacting subjects in research studies 
following attacks on a computer in which personal information about 
those subjects was stored.

The computer, used by UI psychology professor Michael O'Hara and UI 
psychiatry professor Scott Stuart, contained the Social Security numbers 
of some 14,500 subjects who were participants in research studies on 
maternal and child health from 1995 until the present.

"All persons whose information may have possibly been exposed are being 
notified and advised on what actions they may take to protect their 
confidential information," said O'Hara.

Steve Fleagle, UI associate vice president and university chief 
information officer, said the attacks against the computer were launched 
and discovered last week. He emphasized, however, that there is no 
evidence that any information on the computer was obtained in the 

"Although the evidence we've collected in this case indicates the risk 
is low, we are taking the utmost caution by sharing information about 
the incident with everyone who may have been impacted," Fleagle noted.  
He said law enforcement agencies have been notified, and that his own 
department's analysis of the intrusions indicate they were automated 
attacks designed to obtain a place to store video files for subsequent 

In a notification letter to the research subjects, the university 
directs them to a resource Web page -- -- which features frequently 
asked questions about the incident, advises them how to place a fraud 
alert with the three major credit bureaus, briefs them on how to run 
periodic credit reports to ensure their accounts have not been activated 
by unauthorized personnel, and provides other germane information.

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