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July 07, 2010

  • News:  Hackers Hit UH Computer System

    There are many ways that hackers access security systems and steal personal and credit card information. These thieves appear to be one step ahead of developers of hardware and software that is considered to be highly secure and protective of credit card information. However, once again we learn of an incident where hackers were able to get inside the security systems of another organization. It was announced that hackers infiltrated one of the University of Hawaii's campus parking lot computer server. Over 53,000 pieces of personal information were compromised including 40,870 plus Social Security Numbers (SSN) and 200 plus credit card numbers. According to Gregg Takayama, a University of Hawaii spokesperson, at this time, there have not been any reports of fraudulent use of any of the compromised information.

    University officials do not know how the hacker gained access but they do know that the hacker invaded the system and implanted a virus that retrieved the SSNs and credit card information. It is suspected that the hacker was based out of China. The Honolulu Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the University of Hawaii's forensics investigator are collaborating on the investigation. The university mailed out letters or sent emails to those without current mailing addresses to all the individuals affected by the SSN and credit card breach.

    Most of those individuals who have been affected by the incident are the University of Hawaii-Manoa faculty and staff members that were employed in 1998. Also affected are individuals who did business or purchased a parking permit between January 1, 1998 and June 30, 2009. Most of these individuals were East-West Center, UH Foundation and Research Corporation of the University of Hawaii staff members. In addition to the SSNs and credit card numbers, the data base contained names, addresses, driver's license numbers, vehicle information, and UH student identification number. The breach was discovered during a routine audit last month.

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