UW workers’ info on hacked computer

The personal information for University of Washington employees was on a computer server that was hacked.

How many victims? 6,000.

What type of personal information? Names and Social Security numbers.

What happened? Two university parking-management computer servers containing personal employee information were hacked around Dec. 6 last year. An on-site review conducted by UW on Dec. 30 showed "obvious signs of compromise," prompting the university to take the servers offline and conduct an investigation, according to a UW police report.

Details: Kirk Bailey, UW's chief information-security officer said the forensic computer investigation was a timely process. There were signs of something amiss late last year but the investigation took until the end of February or the beginning of March to complete.

Social Security numbers were used as UW employee identification numbers until about 7 years ago and many computers still have this information stored on them. Bailey said that tracking down all the computers that contain sensitive information would not be an easy task, but the University is interested in looking into doing so.

What was the response? Affected individuals were notified.

Quote: "I want to make you aware that the security breach occurred so that you can take steps that you feel may be appropriate to protect yourself from the potential misuse of your personal information," wrote UW transportation-services Director Joshua Kavanagh.

Source:, The Seattle Times, “6,000 UW workers' personal information at risk,” April 1, 2009.

Get daily email updates

SC Media's daily must-read of the most current and pressing daily news

By clicking the Subscribe button below, you agree to SC Media Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.