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UCSF Security Breach, Another University Hack in Recent Years

A likely security breach of a computer system at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) possibly compromised private information records of 46,000 campus and medical center faculty, other staff and students. All the 46,000 individuals could face the threat of identity deception.

There may have occurred a leakage of personal information comprising of names, social security numbers and bank account details from a server at Oakland data center of University of California. The university used the information for arranging electronic payroll and reimbursing funds. UCSF stated this on April 4, 2007.

University officials notified all those whom the possible breach affected. After they discovered the attack towards end March 2007, they immediately took the server off line, the university stated.

There was no evidence of specific information access at that point in time, said Randy Lopez, who's the co-chief information officer at Office of Academic and Administration Information Systems in a statement that SignOnSanDiego.com published on April 4, 2007.

While alerting the affected individuals, UCSF is encouraging them to watch out for clues concerning identity theft. It has also recommended them to put up a fraud warning on their bank reports. The university has set up a website and hotline number to facilitate help.

Like the University of California there have been many similar incidents of data loss in several earlier months.

In 2005, UC Berkeley feared theft of data from a laptop that stored personal information of 98,000 people related to admissions to its graduate school. Authorities had, however, recovered the laptop later.

In late 2006, a hacker exposed data relating to 800,000 faculty, other staff, existing and ex-students by exploiting a flaw in UCLA database. According to investigations in January 2007, the hacker had acquired Social Security numbers of approximately 28,000 people.

Identity theft continues to be leading complaints to the Federal Trade Commission. They include bank fraud, credit card fraud and even phone frauds. In 2006 all of them constituted 36% of all the 674,354 complaints addressing the FTC.

According to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, since early 2005, there was breach of 150 personal records in several incidents.

Related article: UCSF Server Holding Personal Information Encounters Hack

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