Hacker accesses 8,500 UGA accounts

Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 5:58 PM
Last updated 7:00 PM
  • Follow Crime & courts

ATHENS, Ga. -- Personnel records of more than 8,500 current and former University of Georgia workers have been accessed in what UGA officials call “a criminal act of computer trespass.”

Officials started an investigation Oct. 1 after learning that two UGA workers’ passwords were reset by someone other than them as early as Sept. 28. Both the employees worked in information technology with access to others’ records.

The intruder then used those workers’ accounts to look into UGA’s personnel record-keeping system, a UGA official announced Friday.

“This appears to be a planned intrusion by someone who knew enough about our operations to know which accounts to attack and where the sensitive information was located within the system,” UGA Vice President for Information Technology Timothy Chester said in an email distributed to UGA employees. “It is clearly a criminal act of computer trespass, and we are working with UGA Police to investigate.”

The accessed data includes names, Social Security numbers and other personal information.

Investigators don’t yet know who broke into the system, nor whether they stole information or used it in any way, said UGA Vice President for Public Affairs Tom Jackson.

The UGA Police Department’s three-person computer forensics team is investigating the break-in, Jackson said.

Chester said all current and former UGA employees should be on guard against identity theft. UGA will also provide credit monitoring for those affected by the breach and who request help.

Using email or U.S. mail, university administrators will contact anyone whose records might have been accessed, to the extent that they have addresses for them, according to the UGA announcement.

UGA workers should try to make it hard for an intruder to get into their personal accounts; whoever got into the UGA system have had an easy time outwitting the “secret question” that is part of the security system for UGA’s MyID information system.

“It is important that employees also take steps to make sure their MyID information is secure,” Chester said. “Make your secret question and answer pairs impossible to guess. Don’t use questions to which the answers may be found on your ... Facebook page.”

Comments (2) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
seenitB4
88068
Points
seenitB4 10/14/12 - 08:36 am
1
0
What a crock

Why not just say...
We can not protect your info on anything....impossible....you are hanging on theline on any computer anywhere....GEEZ

Now our health info will be wide axxed open too....thanks alot US government.

my.voice
4860
Points
my.voice 10/15/12 - 02:44 pm
1
0
A UGA firewall consists of a

A UGA firewall consists of a pringles can and a 9 volt battery.

Back to Top

Top headlines

Fire closes Broad Street

An early morning fire is closing parts of downtown Broad Street and motorists are advised to avoid the area around Ninth Street.
Search Augusta jobs