CHENEY, Wash. -- After identifying a computer network security breach, Eastern Washington University is in the process of notifying current and former students whose names, social security numbers and dates of birth were on the computer system in question.
While there is no evidence leading EWU to believe that anyone's personal information has been compromised, the university is mailing notification letters to people whose personal data may have been exposed so they can take the appropriate steps to protect themselves from fraud.
Because the student information goes back to 1987, the notification process could involve up to 130,000 people and could take up to two weeks.
"EWU regrets that anyone's personal information may have been subject to unauthorized disclosure," said President Rodolfo Arévalo. "The university is taking this matter seriously and is committed to maintaining everyone's privacy. Eastern is continually putting new measures in place to protect personal information and will do everything it can to protect against further intrusions."
The university recently discovered the breach during an assessment of its network. Further investigation by the information technology staff revealed the hacker installed software to store and share video files on the system.
In the notification letter to those whose names were possibly exposed, the university is encouraging people to place a fraud alert on their credit file and to seek a free credit report so they can look for suspicious activity. A website has been set up to provide important information at www.ewu.edu/infosecurity.
Individuals can also call Eastern's security hot line at 1-800-615-9381 during regular business hours, M-F, beginning at 9 a.m., Monday, Jan. 4, 2010.