15,000 KCC students warned of identity theft


POSTED: Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Kapiolani Community College said yesterday that more than 15,000 students are being warned they might be at risk of identity theft because of an infected computer.

The students include those granted financial aid between Jan. 1, 2004, and April 15, when the problem was discovered. Parents who supplied their own information on financial forms are also at risk.

As soon as the malicious software, or malware, was discovered, the computer was removed from service, and a forensic investigation was launched.

The investigation found no evidence that any sensitive information was accessed, but the possibility could not be ruled out, the college said. The FBI and Honolulu Police Department were notified.

The computer itself stored no sensitive information, but was on a local network where such information was kept for processing financial aid, officials said.

The exposed information included names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth and Social Security numbers.

Those who might be affected by the breach were advised to obtain a credit report and to review bank and credit card statements to look for unusual or suspicious activities.

KCC officials said steps have been taken to ensure similar incidents do not occur in the future.

The school will implement additional security measures, including minimizing the storage of sensitive information and verifying that computers used to access sensitive information have the latest version of anti-malware software, they said.