WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - If you've taken a math class at Purdue, your security could be at risk.
Purdue University (PU) said 7,093 former students and faculty who took part in a math course could be at risk.
University officials said an unauthorized person broke into their computer system on April 5, 2010, and tried to use the server to attack other servers.
Purdue University staff learned of the breach three days after it happened and immediately took the server off-line.
PU staff said there was no evidence the intruder accessed files, but there was personal information files available dating back to 2000 through the summer session of 2005, which had been placed on the computer in error.
Purdue staff conducted an in-depth investigation to determine the type of data exposed. A scan of the system determined 7,093 Social Security numbers could have been seen by the hacker.
The math department was then able to contact the owners of the numbers.
"Through our investigation, we found no evidence that the unauthorized user attempted to find or read any files with personal information in our system, but felt informing people who may have been affected was a necessary precaution," said Laszlo Lempert, head of the Department of Mathematics. "We regret the breach occurred, and we've taken extensive measures to prevent this from happening again."
Not only were former students affected, but a small number of faculty, family members and contractors have also been notified they may potentially be affected.
Social Security numbers are no longer used according to university policy, except where required by law. All students, alumni, faculty and staff are given a Purdue identification number.
Information is available from Purdue about how to protect your identity and prevent identity loss .
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