Information security breach hits students

A security breach drew mixed reactions from students living on campus at Southern Oregon University.

Staff discovered a document containing students' personal information was missing on Friday and alerted the affected students by letter, urging them to change their personal identification numbers as soon as possible.

The list, used by crews preparing the residence halls for new students, contained student ID numbers, phone numbers, addresses, room numbers, sex and date of birth. Approximately 400 students living in the Greensprings and Suzanne Homes residence halls were affected.

"The way that they put it in the letter, it didn't sound like we needed to be that concerned about it," said freshman Kelly Clark, a Greensprings resident. "It kind of sucks because your personal information is out there."

Clark said most people did not seem worried. She had not changed her PIN yet, although she plans to soon.

"Everyone's just talking about it, and no one's really doing anything about it," said freshman Shane Vanzant, who also has not changed his PIN.

The loss does not pose a large risk, said Jonathan Eldridge, vice president of student affairs, because most of the information was already available for public inquiry.

"There is the slight potential that someone with an ID number could change someone's class schedule," Eldridge said, but the safeguards, such as PIN numbers, were not on the missing list. The instruction to change PIN numbers was an extra precaution, he said.

"We encourage students to change theirs on a regular basis anyway," he said.

Student ID numbers have no use outside of the university and have been used instead of social security numbers for the past two years. This is the first incident that Eldridge was aware of when student information was lost.

In response to the incident, maintenance workers will now receive modified lists with only data pertinent to room set up to prevent further losses.

"You figure that things would be kept track of better than that," said freshman Jeremy Thompson. "But with everyone moving, you can't really complain if that's all that happens."

Staff writer can be reached at 482-3456 ext. 227 of . To post a comment on this story, go to .

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