Human error leads to Virginia Tech computer server breach

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A computer server within the Department of Human Resources at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, popularly known as Virginia Tech, was breached as a result of human error.

How many victims? 144,963.

What type of personal information? Names, driver's license numbers, employment history and prior criminal records.

What happened? The computer server, which contained information on 144,963 individuals who applied for positions at the university, was illegally accessed on Aug. 28.

What was the response? The university has contacted the applicants who provided their driver's license numbers.

Details: Of the 144,963 individuals affected, only 16,642 provided their driver's license numbers. According to school officials, the breach was a result of “human error” involving compliance protocols when dealing with the personal data. A forensic investigation into the issue revealed that the information was “partly” accessed through a Virginia Tech server in Italy.

Quote: “The issue here is that someone on our staff goofed,” Larry Hincker, associate vice president for University Relations, said.

Source: collegiatetimes.com, Collegiate Times, “A decade of sensitive VT job applicant information illegally accessed,” Sept. 24, 2013.

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