UGA contacting 4,000 after server breached by hacker

January 9, 2008

Associated Press

University of Georgia officials are trying to contact more than 4,000 current, former and perspective residents of a university housing complex after a hacker was able to access a server containing personal information, including Social Security numbers.

The security breach happened sometime between Dec. 29 and Dec. 31, the university said Tuesday.

During that time, a computer with an overseas IP address was able to access the personal information - including Social Security numbers, names and addresses - of 540 current graduate students living in graduate family housing and 3,710 former students and applicants. University officials know what country the hacker was operating in, but would not comment on it, UGA spokesman Tom Jackson said.

Workers took the server off-line as soon they discovered the problem.

There was no evidence the hacker used or recorded the information, said Stan Gatewood, UGA.s chief information security officer.

"It seemed to be one of those things where the door was opened, but no one walked in," Jackson said. "But still everyone needs to be notified."

But notifying all the affected people could be difficult because many are former students from outside the country, Jackson said.

It's not the first time the college has had to deal with a computer system breach.

Last February, a hacker was able to access personal information, including medical information, about 3,500 current and former students from a server at the UGA Disability Resource Center.

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