University of Connecticut officials are scrambling to notify 10,000-plus people who applied for admission to the school over a six-year period that a laptop storing their Social Security numbers and other personal information was stolen from the school’s information technology department.
This data breach is just one of dozens of security gaffes that have plagued major colleges and universities in the past year.
“We deeply regret this incident,” Jason Pufahl, interim chief information security officer, said in the statement. “The university takes security of personal data seriously and is continuing its investigation to determine whether any university policies were not followed.”
“The university will take corrective steps and, if warranted, disciplinary action,” he added.
Officials at the University of Connecticut’s West Hartford campus this week are busy notifying 10,174 people who applied to the school between 2004 and 2010 that their names, Social Security numbers and other personal information were exposed after a laptop containing the data was stolen from a storage cabinet.
According to a statement on the UConn website, the theft from the school’s information technology department was discovered Aug. 3. A subsequent investigation has determined that none of the data, thus far, has been used for identity theft or other nefarious purposes.
“Steps have been taken to prevent unauthorized access to university computer systems through the device,” UConn officials said in the statement.
Files stored on the purloined laptop included undergraduate admissions-related data with contact information and Social Security numbers of the applicants.