Hundreds of U of Delaware Chemistry Students at Risk of ID Theft

NEWARK, Delaware. On November 15, 2007 the Liberty Coalition discovered 20 separate files containing sensitive personal information for roughly 582 University of Delaware Chemistry students who participated in the Chemistry mentoring program between 2000 and 2004. This information included full names, dates of birth, roughly 482 social security numbers, addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, home addresses, and a range of other personal information of current or former University of Delaware students. Students affected by this breach may be at extreme risk of identity theft. The files were available to the public on a University of Delaware website.

According to the server, the files had been posted online for as long as seven years. Officials have indicated that the University of Delaware switched away from using Social Security Numbers as identifiers several years ago, and that they did a text-search for social security numbers on their servers at that time. Unfortunately, their internal search engine failed to scan non-plain text files such as MS Excel files.

All of the files are posted in an online folder belonging to Professor Harold White of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, who was shocked to find that they were there. As is often the case, the files were posted on an online file server that requires a password to upload files, but which is available to the public without a password.

You can confirm whether you were affected by this breach by searching for your name at


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