Security breach revealed to former PSU-Altoona students
By Debra Erdley
Published: Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
Penn State University officials on Friday began notifying former students of a security breach on a computer server that contained 1,406 Social Security numbers for enrollees at the Altoona campus before 2005.
An operator at Penn State's call center said officials were alerted Sept. 10 that a server at University Park containing the records was infected with malware, software that allows it to communicate with unauthorized outside networks.
Techs took the server offline when officials became aware of the issue.
“We have no reason to believe that this information was accessed by unauthorized individuals, but those affected should remain alert in the event that an individual attempts to use their identity,” said Sarah Morrow, chief privacy officer for the university. “Even when theft is only a remote possibility, we alert anyone who may have been affected and arm them with information and steps to take to mitigate their risk.”
Penn State notified people through letters that include contact information if someone has questions.
Pennsylvania's 2006 Breach of Personal Information Notification Act requires any business, organization or government agency that maintains computerized records with personal information to notify people “without unreasonable delay” when a security breach occurs.
Morrow declined to say why it took more than three months for the university to begin telling former students their personal information may have been compromised.
Penn State officials advised people to call, toll-free, 855-842-8351.
Debra Erdley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7996 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Western Psychiatric clinic rampage victim’s parents seek answers, lawyer says
- Trib’s Hiel honored for reporting on Coptic Christians
- Newsmaker: Jack Goodrich
- Web of surveillance videos helps ensnare suspect in East Liberty slayings
- Donor name to be stripped from Penn Hills library
- Suspect in East Liberty slayings may be part of murder-for-hire case
- Historical markers approved for 21 sites around Pennsylvania
- Greene County gas well fire stokes concerns about drilling at Pittsburgh International