Potential Identity Theft
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) recently experienced a sophisticated cyber attack that appears to be part of a coordinated attempt to gain access to computer networks at numerous laboratories and other institutions across the country. A hacker illegally gained access to ORNL computers by sending staff e-mails that appeared to be official legitimate communications. When the employees opened the attachment or accessed an embedded link, the hacker planted a program on the employees' computers that enabled the hacker to copy and retrieve information. The original e-mail and first potential corruption occurred on October 29, 2007. We have reason to believe that data was stolen from a database used for visitors to the Laboratory.
No classified information was lost; however, visitor personal information may have been stolen. If you visited ORNL between the years 1990 and 2004 your name and other personal information such as your social security number or date of birth may have been part of the stolen information. While there is no evidence that the stolen information has been used, the Laboratory deeply regrets the inconvenience caused by this event.
We recommend you place a fraud alert on your credit file. A fraud alert tells creditors to contact you before they open any new accounts or change your existing accounts. Call any one of the three major credit bureaus. As soon as one credit bureau confirms your fraud alert, the others are notified to place fraud alerts and you will receive instructions on how to obtain a free credit report from each agency.
In addition to the report you receive after placing a fraud alert, you are entitled to one free credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies per year. You may obtain your free credit reports online by going to www.annualcreditreport.com or by calling 877-322-8228. Additional information regarding identity theft is available at
Even if you do not find any suspicious activity on your initial credit reports, the Federal Trade Commission recommends that you check your credit reports periodically. Checking your credit reports can help you spot problems and address them quickly.
We continue to put in place new and more sophisticated security systems in an attempt to stop thieves who are equally determined to break into the cyber network.