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Published: Monday, 3/16/2009

Stolen computer at UT contains personal information of students, faculty


A computer stolen from the University of Toledo contained personal information for about 24,000 students and 450 faculty during the 2007-08 and 2008-09 academic years, the university announced Monday.

The student data was directory and educational information, such as student identification numbers and grade point averages.

The faculty information, however, was more personal and included names, social security numbers, birth dates, and more.

UT officials do not believe that the information was the motive for the theft, which occurred the weekend of Feb. 20. The locked office in the College of Arts and Sciences administrative area was pried open with a crowbar and other rooms in the hall also had evidence of attempted forced entry.

The university has identified the machine and is tracing it to be notified if it tries to log into the UT network and that has not happened, said Bob Hogle, UT's director of network services.

The computer was password protected and many of the files were specifically encrypted or individually password protected, he said.

The personal data was saved on the computer itself and not on the university's network, which officials are encouraging staff to do. Next month UT will launch a data loss prevention system that will allow staff to search the network for personal information on campus computers and move it to more secure locations on the network.

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