A spokesperson at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids says they’ve verified that hackers accessed the records of thousands of college applicants dating back to 2005. Kirkwood Vice President of Student Services, Kristi Fisher, says I-T engineers at the school noticed unusual activity on a system database holding the student records and took quick action.
“The FBI was in almost immediately, and fairly quickly determined that it was a very sophisticated hack from an international I-P address,” Fisher says. The records of include names, birthdates, contact information and social security numbers.
She says everyone has been notified whose records may have been compromised, and that no problems have been reported yet. “Actually we don’t know if anything was taken, but we could see that there was access to the system. We could not determine if anything was downloaded or taken,” according to Fisher.
She says they can’t be sure if any information was downloaded or stolen, but the college is working with a private security firm to fix any vulnerabilities in their system. Smith says they don’t expect to hear from too many people, but do have identity theft services available.
“A lot of people keep fraud alerts on their credit histories anyway, and they do check them regularly because this does happen,” Smith says. “And a lot of people have services through their credit card companies to watch for fraud alert.”
The college is working with the FBI and a private security company to address vulnerabilities in the system, and to make sure students are protected from identity theft.