Student charged in Weber State data breach that could impact 1,200
OGDEN — Weber State University is warning its students and teachers their information may have been compromised in a data breach earlier this year.
A burglary earlier this year led to a breach of computers in one computer lab in the school's science lab building, as well as to some faculty computers, leading the school to warn 1,200 people who used the computers between January and April that their information may be at risk.
Joseph W. Langford, 26, a WSU student at the time, was charged in 2nd District Court on Monday with burglary, a third-degree felony, in connection with the breach.
Weber State officials didn't confirm Langford's status at the school. The situation will be reviewed by a disciplinary committee.
"What we know is he hacked into some computers. There seems to be some interest in tests," said Allison Hess, WSU spokeswoman. "We haven't gotten any indication he used the information to get into any financial or other personal information, but we don't know for sure. Weber State is acting out of an abundance of caution in this situation."
The problem was first detected when a faculty member noticed "some unusual activity" on a computer, Hess said. From there, campus police began investigating and reviewing security, and Langford was identified.
"He broke into the lab and that allowed him access to those computers," Hess said.
The school sent out letters Monday to students, faculty and staff who may have been affected. The university's goal is to respond proactively, offering information about identity theft, assistance with credit checks and help with other inquiries. So far no one has reported problems to the school.
"As with any large institution, we have so many students and faculty and staff and computers and we access so much technology, we have to be constantly vigilant with the security," Hess said. "You can't just assume that it's going to be OK."
Additionally, students and teachers are urged to change their passwords, while professors whose tests may have been compromised have been advised to secure them.
Any students, faculty and staff who have questions about the data breach can contact Weber State at 801-626-7070 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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