Hackers breach Virginia Commonwealth University server containing personal data

Hackers breach Virginia Commonwealth University server containing personal data

Hackers recently breached a Virginia Commonwealth University computer server containing personal information of people connected to the school and its VCU Health System.

According to a statement released by VCU, the breach was detected on October 24, but university officials don't believe any personal data was compromised. The server housed information on 176,567 current and former VCU and VCU Health System students, staff and affiliates.

"Data items included either a name or eID, Social Security number and, in some cases, date of birth, contact information and various programmatic or departmental information," CIO Mark Willis said in the statement. "Our investigation was unable to determine with 100 percent certainty that the intruders did not access or copy the files in question. We believe the likelihood that they did is very low."

VCU said it will continue to work with local and federal agencies as the investigation progresses.

According to a recent Ponemon Institute study, data breaches increased 7 percent in 2010, while the average cost for an organization is $7.2 million. The report said the average cost per individual record compromised is $214, meaning VCU losing the records of nearly 200,000 people could be quite costly for the university.