April 19, 2019, Klamath Falls, Ore. – The Oregon Institute of Technology, “Oregon Tech,” informed its campus community of a data privacy incident that potentially affected certain data that it maintains. Campus leaders shared that after a detailed investigation by internal staff and external forensic experts, there is no evidence that any information was visible or was taken as a result of the breach of an isolated server used for teaching. Still, out of an abundance of caution, the university is offering credit bureau monitoring to the 770 people potentially impacted who had personally identifiable information on the server.
In late October last year the campus’ information technology services staff discovered that a teaching server was infected with a virus that may have affected the security of certain faculty and student information. Information systems and data were immediately secured. Oregon Tech then brought in forensic investigators to help determine if any personally identifiable information had been even potentially compromised. After a series of detailed investigations covering all of the records, the work was completed in the last week of March. Oregon Tech personnel then worked diligently to find contact information for those who may have been impacted, with some of this work taking longer because of the age of the records going back to the 1980s and 1990s.
Oregon Tech’s chief information officer, Jim Jones, said, “Oregon Tech takes the security of our systems and the information entrusted to us as one of our highest priorities. While the university certainly has security safeguards in place that are designed to protect information in our systems, we are reviewing our policies and procedures to continue improving existing security, and to stay ahead of the ever-changing range of threats that are so common in today’s cyber landscape.”
Campus and external parties who may have been potentially impacted were notified by mail this week that based on the investigations, there is no specific evidence that this incident led to the compromise or misuse of any data. However, Oregon Tech has offered credit bureau monitoring services; provided a website with more detailed information; and has a customer service phone line for those who wish more information.
The university is also providing its faculty and staff with data privacy awareness and training, reinforcing that everyone must be vigilant and diligent in all efforts to protect information.