USC warns personal data may be on stolen computer

June 9, 2008

The University of South Carolina is warning about 7,000 faculty, staff and students that some of their personal information was on a desktop computer stolen from an office at the business school.

Russ McKinney, the university spokesman, said that over the Memorial Day weekend, several items were stolen from an office in the Moore School of Business.

"Among the items was a desktop computer belonging to Deputy Dean Dr. Scott Koerwer," McKinney said. "As a result of the computer being stolen, we feel it is possible that some personally identifiable data could have been compromised."

McKinney said university officials have no evidence anyone's personal information was accessed.

"We feel the responsible thing for us to do is to notify those persons whose data was contained in the computer, and advise them of the fact, and share with them some useful steps they may want to take for additional protection," McKinney said.

He said the university is notifying about 130 faculty and staff at the Moore School, and just under 7,000 students who took business courses in the last academic year. McKinney said the university.s Division of Law Enforcement and Safety and Office of Information Technology are investigating the matter. Deputy Dean Koerwer circulated a letter to students dated June 6 that suggested some steps they might take to protect themselves from identity theft.

Those steps are: . Request that a free initial fraud alert be placed on your credit files by calling any one of the three major national credit bureaus listed on the attached sheet. When you place a fraud alert with any one of the national credit bureaus, that agency will notify the other two agencies, so it is not necessary to contact all three. Fraud alerts will then be placed automatically on your accounts at all three agencies, and all three agencies will separately mail credit reports to you at no cost. . Guidance regarding the burglary, including answers to frequently asked questions that we anticipate on identity protection, identity theft, and precautionary measures is available at the University.s website: www.scedu/identity/index.shtml. - General guidance regarding identity theft is available on the website of the Federal Trade Commission website: For further information, contact the university hotline at 800-338-6107 (the 800 number is valid regardless of your location). - James T. Hammond

main page ATTRITION feedback