UI notifies graduate program students, faculty about security breach

June 8, 2007

By the Press-Citizen


Students and faculty associated with a University of Iowa graduate program are being notified this week about a Web-site security breach. UI has sent letters to about 1,000 current students and applicants to the Molecular and Cellular Biology program and to 100 faculty members, said John Keller, UI Associate Provost and Dean of the Graduate College.

Although UI officials have uncovered no evidence that personal information on the compromised Web site is being misused, faculty and students are being advised to protect their identities by placing fraud alerts with three major credit bureaus. Instructions for placing the no-cost alerts and other security information are available at this Web site: http://www.ftc.gov/idtheft.

"We are deeply concerned that this happened," Keller said. "We apologize, and we want our faculty, students and prospective students to know that we are working expeditiously to correct this problem. We have notified the appropriate UI and law enforcement officials, and we are evaluating our systems to identify additional ways to protect our Web sites.

"We are confident that we have identified and are in the process of notifying all of the affected individuals who need to know about their risk so that they can take action to protect themselves," he added.

A staff member in the Molecular and Cellular Biology program identified the security breach on May 19. Social Security numbers of faculty, students and prospective students were stored on the Web database program that was compromised.

A Web site has been created to provide affected individuals with information and advice. It can be accessed at http://www.grad.uiowa.edu/news/incident.htm.

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