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University of Iowa News Release

 

May 30, 2008

Center for Disabilities and Development alerts staff of computer security breach

The University of Iowa is alerting current and past staff members of the Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD) at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics that a computer application containing Social Security numbers and date of birth information was improperly accessed from outside the UI network.

As a precaution, the university wants potentially affected staff members to know about the breach so they can make an informed decision on whether to take steps to protect themselves against the risk of identity theft.

The breach occurred prior to March 2008 when Social Security numbers were removed from the compromised application as part of a campus-wide effort to reduce the use of Social Security numbers on computer systems. No patient information was disclosed as part of this breach.

An internal investigation by UI information technology authorities and by UI Police is underway, and the FBI has been notified.

"The confidentiality of protected information of our staff and our patients is one of our highest priorities," said Lee Carmen, associate vice president for information technology with University of Iowa Health Care. "The UI Information Technology Security Office is working to ensure that Social Security numbers are removed from computer applications across campus, which is greatly reducing the risk of a recurrence of this situation."

The UI has sent letters regarding the computer security breach to 946 current and former potentially affected staff in the CDD. Information about the incident is also available online at http://www.uihealthcare.com/news/update/index.html. Information on placing a precautionary fraud alert on credit files is included on the Web site.

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room E110 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945, thomas-moore@uiowa.edu