SCSU security breach

April 23, 2008

By Erin Cox

Southern Connecticut State University is taking action Wednesday evening to prevent its students from becoming victims of identity theft. The move comes after a website with student and alumni information was found to be easily accessible to hackers.

It seems to be a care free life as a college student, but some students at Southern are uneasy to learn their personal information could be floating out there because of the security breach.

"I didn't even known about it until you brought it up," Shelrica McKenizie, a senior at Southern, said. "That's shocking to me."

SCSU says records of about 11,000 students and alumni may have been compromised by hackers. These days, students turn over a lot of personal identity information to their schools.

"Social, insurance, everything," Brandon Lee, a senior at Southern, noted. "So, it's kind of scary that someone out there could have my information."

"It's all our information," Desiree Pacaud, a freshman at Southern, said. "It's unsettling especially financial aid information -- because it's not just my information, it's both my parents'.

It appears that no financial information was accessed but Southern admits that social security numbers were vulnerable. However, the breach at Southern is prompting a warning to administrators at other state schools -- like Eastern, Western, Central and even UConn.

The attorney general is telling them to make sure personal information is better protected. "There is a huge amount of confidential, financial and personal information that is submitted by the students," Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said. "Their parents and families, in these web servers, [are] potentially at risk if someone hacks into the system as they did at Southern.

"I don't know what they don't have," Adam Nesteruk, a senior at Southern, said. "I think, honestly, they know pretty much everything about me and my family."

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