Hackers access Kirkwood Community College Web site

Personal information over a period of 8 years accessed

Hackers broke into the Kirkwood Community College Web site on March 13, accessing the personal records of more than 125,000 people who applied to take credit classes over a period of eight years.

The college, which announced the unlawful incident on Monday, said archived application information from February 2005 until March 13, 2013, may have included applicant names, birth dates, race, contact information and Social Security numbers.

No financial information was stored in the system.

"As soon as it happened, we notified law enforcement," said Kristie Fisher, vice president of student services. "We've been working with the FBI and a data-security firm."

Kirkwood sent letters Friday to all the people whose personal information was included on the site that was hacked, Fisher said.

"The college has personally contacted those who may have been affected to offer assistance," said Jon Neff, associate vice president of technology services, in a written statement. "The free services will include personal assistance from identity theft and restoration experts who will listen, answer questions and offer expertise regarding concerns from those affected."

Credit monitoring alerts also will create awareness of key changes in credit files that could indicate unauthorized activity commonly associated with identity theft and fraud.

Kirkwood IT officials discovered the hack March 13 and immediately shut down the course-application portal, Fisher said. The site has now been reopened with improved security.


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