Breach, Data Security, Vulnerability Management

Hacker accesses Eastern Washington University’s network

A hacker accessed the computer network of Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Wash., placing sensitive student information at risk.

How many victims? 130,000.

What type of personal information? Social Security numbers and birth dates.

What happened? IT staff recently discovered the breach during an assessment of the university's network. It was determined that the hacker installed software to store and share video files on the system.

Details: The student information involved in the breach dates back to 1987.

Quote: "EWU regrets that anyone's personal information may have been subject to unauthorized disclosure," President Rodolfo Arevalo said in a statement, obtained by The Seattle Times. "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."

What was the response? Letters are being sent to affected individuals. A website and hot line have been set up to provide information about the breach.

Source:, The Seattle Times, “Hacker may have accessed EWU student information,” Dec. 31, 2009.

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