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UCSF Server Holding Personal Information Encounters Hack

Hackers have apparently stolen addresses and Social Security numbers of more than 3,000 people from a computer server located in an off-campus office associated with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Nbc4.tv published the news on April 19, 2007.

The unauthorized access to the server occurred on March 30, 2007 late night. It held personal information required for research subjects in studies on cancer - its causes and various kinds of treatment, said UCSF spokeswoman Corinna Kaarlela. Siskiyoudaily published this on April 19, 2007.

The server had files listing the names, contact information and Social Security numbers of patients under study and those with potential for study. The files also contained personal health information of some individuals. Pub published this on April 18, 2007.

UCSF officials sent notification letters on April 16, 2007 to all whose information was at stake. Using backup copies UCSF has started an analysis of the data on the server to put together all the names being affected or likely to be affected in the incident.

As more names get spotted, notification letters will reach them too. The server has large number of files in complex formats, layout and data material. That makes the analysis process extremely complicated, which is a hurdle for UCSF officials to predict the actual number and names.

The UCSF has set up a telephone hotline (866-485-8777) to answer the inquiries. It has also established a website (http://www.ucsf.edu/alert) to supply information and provide advice. Meanwhile, the UCSF Police Department is conducting an investigation jointly with the San Francisco Police Department.

Researchers at UCSF obtained the persons' profiles from an institution that gathers information from possible study subjects. UCSF always maintains confidentiality of personal information.

UCSF compiled the names of all the persons by collaborating with a health care group that accumulates information from large groups of population. Based on this the university learns about the disease with the objectives of how to diagnose early, to make effective treatment and to stop the disease from happening. To accomplish this prevention, there is collection of information from people who have the disease and those without it.

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