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College Suspends IT Managers over Hacker Break-Ins

Ohio University said Tuesday it has suspended two information technology supervisors over recent breaches by hackers who may have stolen 173,000 Social Security numbers from school computers.

The school did not identify the director of communications network services -- identified on the school's Web site as Thomas Reid -- and manager of Internet and systems. Both were suspended pending the school's investigation of the breaches, five of which have happened since March 2005.

A message was left late Tuesday at a home phone listing for Reid.

Citing results from an independent audit, the school also said University President Roderick McDavis will ask trustees for up to $2 million to improve computer security. McDavis said he deeply regretted the inconvenience and stress the breaches caused university employees.

"We hold ourselves fully accountable," McDavis wrote Monday in an e-mail to faculty and staff.

The school said in April it had discovered a computer breach at its training center for fledgling businesses. Since then, electronic break-ins also were reported at the school's alumni office, health center and the department that handles records for businesses the university hires.

Students, alumni and employees have been told to run credit checks and place fraud watches on their credit card and bank accounts. About two dozen people have told the school they were victimized by identity theft in the past year.

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