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Student Information at Risk in SunGard Laptop Theft

The State University of New York (SUNY) at Brockport has learned reported that a laptop belonging to an employee at SunGard Higher Education, a software company that provides IT services to the university system, was reported stolen March 13. The school learned about the theft April 14 and received copies of the compromised files April 17.

According to a statement by the school, the laptop contained private information, including names and social security numbers, for about 1,500 people who included SUNY Brockport in their financial aid application process for the 2002-2003 academic year. The estimated number of enrolled Brockport students who may be affected is much fewer. The school said there have been no confirmed reports of fraud or identity theft.

SunGard said on its Web site that the notebook was used by a consultant whose job included analysis of customer data as part of software implementation and upgrade projects.

The theft was reported to law enforcement, but the laptop has not been recovered. SunGard said it believes that the laptop was stolen for hardware rather than data.

"The College is taking every measure to identify the affected individuals and inform them of this situation. We understand the frustration and anxiety that this may cause for people in our community," said Frank Wojcik, dean for information resources and CIO at the College. "The Information Technology Services staff has been working around the clock to assess the compromised files and verify the personal information they contain."

The school said it will contact people whose information may have been on the stolen laptop by mail. It has set up a Web site to provide information related to the theft.

SunGard has set up a Web site to post information about the data breach and has offered affected individuals a full year of free credit monitoring service through TripleAlert, a service sold by credit reporting firm Experian.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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