OU electronic data stolen

May 2, 2006

Associated Press


ATHENS - The FBI is investigating two thefts of electronic data at Ohio University, school officials said Monday.

The university said it discovered April 24 that someone gained unauthorized access to records in a computer system that supports the school's alumni relations department.

The records included biographical information for more than 300,000 people and organizations, including 137,000 Social Security numbers, the university said. The breach did not involve credit card or bank account information.

University spokesman Bill Sams said investigators haven't found evidence that the information has been used illegally.

Three days before that breach was discovered, the FBI told the university's Innovation Center, a small-business incubator, on April 21 that someone had gained unauthorized access to a server that contained e-mails and patent and intellectual property files.

Officials said a consultant will be hired to review the university's computer systems. The two security breaches appear unrelated and student data has not been affected, the university said.

The university is contacting people whose information was stored in the alumni relations system and has set up a Web site and hot line, 740-566-7448 or 800-901-2303, with tips on how to prevent fraudulent use of personal information.

University officials said they will not be asking those who may have been affected to electronically send personal information. They warned people to refrain from disclosing personal information over e-mail, even if a request for information appears to have come from a university source.

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