Hacker hit community college system

Staff writerDecember 17, 2009 

Patrons of the state's community colleges may have had their drivers license and Social Security numbers stolen by a hacker.

College officials announced late today that 51,000 library users at 25 campuses, including Wake Tech and Johnston County, were the victims of a security breach in August.

They said the libraries collect drivers license and Social Security numbers to help identify computer users. The information is stored on a central server in Raleigh.

The colleges are in the process of notifying all users whose numbers were on the server when it was accessed by a hacker earlier this year.

However, they said their investigation suggests that the hacker did not access the information.

Officials said that the affected colleges have started removing personal data from the server. They said system officials will ensure that, in the future, the server no longer stores users' personal information.

"We regret this situation has occurred, and we apologize to those with information on the server," Dr. Saundra Williams, a senior vice president with the Community College System, said in a statement. "Our colleges and our system office are making every effort to ensure that personal information is permanently removed from our records."

At Wake Tech and Johnston County community colleges, only drivers license numbers were on the server.

Other campuses affected are Alamance, Beaufort, Bladen, Blue Ridge, Brunswick, Central Carolina, College of the Albemarle, Gaston, Halifax, Haywood, Lenoir, Martin, Nash, Pamlico, Piedmont, Richmond, Roanoke-Chowan, Rowan-Cabarrus, Sandhills, Southwestern, Tri-County, Vance Granville and Wilson.

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