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Court Tosses Out Case by Two OU Alumni

Court dismissed a lawsuit that two OU graduates filed claiming their personal data was exposed in a data breach, because the hacking intended something else.

A judge ruled out a lawsuit that two graduates from the Ohio University filed because their Social Security numbers were compromised (they were among the thousands students whose security numbers were hacked from the school computers), according to the University.

The campus officials said there was no instance of anyone who suffered loss of personal data to have fallen victim of identity theft or fraud. The hackers intended to store pirated movie or music files on the Ohio network and not to seize Social Security numbers, the University explained in a statement.

Kenneth Neben of North Bergen, New Jersey and Donald Jay Kulpa of Cincinnati filed the suit against Ohio University in Ohio Court of Claims in the month of June 2006. Neben and Kulpa were among a large number of people - employees, students, alums, contractors and donors whose personal information fell in the clutches of hackers who attacked the computer network of Ohio University sometime last year.

Marc D. Mezibov, the lawyer on behalf of the two alumni, expressed how the judge's decision to dismiss the suit typically represented the sad state of courts' way of dealing with the escalating problem of data hack on computers, as reported by Athensnews on September 4, 2007.

It is frustrating to find that in hacking cases where attackers invade computer networks and commit unauthorized access of personal information, courts are apprehensive of granting the proposal that when personal information is lost, there is damage unless the affected individuals are clearly able to link the attack to an occurrence of identity theft, said attorney Marc D. Mezibov.

About 40 more people have filed complained of identity pilferage to the university, said Christian Jenkins, a Cincinnati lawyer on behalf of the plaintiffs. Bizjournals published this in news on August 30, 2007. So far, none of them has come forward and proved that they were victims of identity theft due to the data loss.

Neben and Kulpa haven't decided about their next move, said Mezibov. They could either appeal the decision of the Court of Claims, or file a fresh lawsuit for an injunction order in a County Common Pleas Court, or simply withdraw the case backing out from the fight.

Related article: Court Acquits Student From Generating Fake Boarding Passes

ยป SPAMfighter News - 15-09-2007

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