Stolen laptop contains NU alumni data

May 20, 2007,1,6443490.story?coll=chi-newslocalchicago-hed&ctrack=2&cset=true

A laptop computer belonging to Northwestern University's financial aid office in Chicago recently was stolen, and the Social Security numbers of some alumni may have been compromised, school officials said.

In a letter dated May 11, Associate Provost Michael E. Mills contacted an undisclosed number of potential victims, informing them one of the computer's files contained their names and Social Security numbers.

University spokesman Al Cubbage said on Saturday there is no evidence any of the personal information on the laptop has been accessed.

One Northwestern alumnus, Tom Gersic, 28, of Mundelein urged the school to better protect the private information of students and alumni.

"I do a lot to protect my Social Security number, and I'm very upset," Gersic said, "especially because things like this have happened before."

The incident is the third since March 2005 in which individuals affiliated with the school may have had their Social Security numbers accessed by hackers or through computer thefts.

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