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Dixie College Suffers Data Hack

A computer hacker has stolen the private information of employees and former students of St. George-based Dixie College. The college's IT department came to know about the breach, it said.

On October 11 2007, a person, who did not disclose his identity, called up a college employee and alerted about the incident through which a group of individuals had unlawfully accessed many confidential folders. These folders stored personal information comprising of names, addresses, birth dates, Social Security numbers etc., the Public Relations Director Steve Johnson of Dixie College said. However, the hacker did not access any credit card details or financial data.

No sooner did the authorities learn about the hack, the IT officials erased from the server the folders, which held names of nearly 11,000 people comprising of graduates and employees of Dixie College during 1986-2005. Internal investigation group and the law enforcement body were notified who are examining the school's access logs to find out if the event was an isolated one.

Lee Caldwell, State President of Dixie, said the school regretted the incident and wanted to tell everyone of the Dixie College community that it is serious about the event as well as other security issues. Desert Morning News published this on October 24, 2007. The college is aware of the risks of identity theft and it is committed to prevent another such incident, Lee added.

Dean of information services, Gary Koeven, at Dixie said that so far, there hadn't been any indication of misuse of the information. Desert Morning News published this on October 24, 2007.

According to Koeven, the school's IT department knows that the person who found the information did it rather innocently without any malicious intent. But one individual accessing the data meant others could do it as well. So the college could not be complacent and sure that such an incident would never happen again.

The institution said it was notifying all those who may be directly affected i.e., experienced the data hack. At the same time, it urged the potentially affected individuals to take precaution by checking their credit card and bank statements.

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