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[ISN] USC hit with another personal data breach


By Andrew Shain
June 29, 2013

The University of South Carolina is dealing with another data breach while it continues work to eliminate unnecessary use of Social Security numbers.

USC sent letters this week to 6,300 students whose personal information, including Social Security numbers, could have been on a laptop stolen from the physics department.

The school's new cyber-security program is more than a year from completion, USC officials said. And even when it's in place, hackers and thieves might get valuable data from the school where more than 80,000 devices -- from desktops to smartphones -- connect to computer systems across the university's eight campuses.

''No one is immune to attack and with that, we have to be aware and realistic that the odds are against us,'' said Marcos Vieyra, USC's chief information security officer. ''There are a lot of attackers. We have to be perfect every day, and all they have to do is find one hole, one vulnerability, and they're in.''

The breach was the university's seventh in seven years. More than 87,000 records belonging to USC students and employees have been exposed since 2006.


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