Northwestern University hits by major systems hack

Officials with Northwestern University in Chicago are reported to be contacting around 17,000 students and applicants after discovering hackers broke into nine desktop computers on campus that contained personal information.

The systems hack, which came to light last Friday, dates back to May of this year, and, say officials, there is no indication that the information accessed has been used by the hackers.

The databases on the computers, which are used in the University's Office of Admissions and Financial Aid, included information such as names, addresses and social security numbers, say officials.

The university is taking no chances, though and is advising anyone who provided social security numbers to the admissions and financial aid office to contact the fraud departments of the three major credit bureaus in the US - Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union - to check their credit files...