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Data copied from ECU computer

(June 19, 2005)   —   Security on a departmentally managed server at East Carolina University was compromised, apparently leading to the unauthorized possession of personal information on about 250 individuals, university officials reported.

The computer, a web server housed in the Department of Physician Assistant Studies, contained information only on students in the department and applicants for admission to the department's program.

Jack McCoy, director of computer security at the university, said an ongoing investigation of the incident determined that the security breach was confined to the single web server. University officials removed the server from the ECU network as soon as the intrusion was discovered, McCoy said.

During the breach, a document containing personal information, including Social Security numbers, was exported from the server, McCoy said. Individuals whose information was taken have been notified and provided with suggested precautions, he said.

Kevin Seitz, vice chancellor for administration and finance, said the compromised information was not part of the university’s central data files, which remain secure. "We are working diligently to determine how this incident occurred and are committed to preventing similar occurrences in the future," he said.

He noted that many institutions from banks to hospitals to universities are facing increased pressure on the security of their data. He said this is the first such incident at ECU


Contact: ECU News Bureau | 252-328-6481