Clark College’s computer system hacked

Students’ names, addresses, phone and student ID numbers potentially exposed

By Marissa Harshman, Columbian health reporter

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The names, addresses, phone numbers and student identification numbers of 250 Clark College students were potentially disclosed when someone hacked into the college’s computer system last week.

Nine students’ Social Security numbers were also exposed. Students’ financial information wasn’t compromised, and college officials are not aware of any unauthorized use of student information stemming from the security breach, said Marilyn Westlake of the college’s emergency management department.

College officials learned of the unauthorized access to the computer system on Wednesday. The college’s intranet and some components of the system were shut down while officials investigated the breach. The system’s weaknesses were identified and fixed, Westlake said.

Law enforcement is investigating the breach.

“This is something that happens in today’s world, but the college has taken it very seriously,” Westlake said.

College officials sent letters and called students whose information may have been compromised by the unauthorized access, she said.

The letter included contact information and Web addresses for credit reporting agencies and urged students to review their credit card statements. Many services are offered for free, but the college will reimburse costs incurred for account monitoring for one year, up to a maximum of $150.

“This sort of activity has really caused an inconvenience for a lot of people,” Westlake said. “We are really sorry about that and apologize for any inconvenience it caused.”

Marissa Harshman: 360-735-4546 or marissa.harshman@columbian.com.