Computer Virus Breaks into UCCS Staff Data

A security breach has the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs on alert. A computer virus may have released the names, dates of birth and social security numbers of 2500 staff and faculty members.

Administrators now urge staff members to protect their personal information from fraudulent use.

With the number of computers on a college campus in the 21st century, something viral is bound to slip through eventually. The UCCS personnel office is the latest victim on the list.

"Basically, a staff member opened an attachment that had a virus attached to it," said University spokesperson Tom Hutton.

A message with the subject line "campus sex assault," carried the virus and was opened on a computer that holds personnel information of staff present and past, dating back to 2004.

"We have no information that shows any of that information's been used maliciously."

Hutton says it doesn't look like the virus was designed to single out the campus computer network for an attack. In fact, the informational tech department sent warning about the rogue program.

And Hutton says even though there's no report of damage from the virus so far, this infection is a reminder to watch computerized communications a little more closely.

"I think all computer users have to be careful in the 21st century not to open those attachments when it's from someone they don't know."

In the meantime, administrators recommend faculty and staff request a fraud alert with one of the national credit agencies. As the investigation continues, the university will personally notify anyone whose information was released.