SPRINGFIELD, Ore. A security breach at Oregon State University may have compromised the private information of about 21,000 current and former students and employees.

University officials said the information was copied during three software upgrades involving an outside vendor in the cashier s office.

The records involved had been compiled between 1996 through 2009. They included names, payment checks, and OSU ID numbers. Some also included social security numbers documented before 2004.

OSU officials said they do not believe the contractor did anything illegal with the private information.

It was specifically used on his computer in his business to upgrade the software for our purpose which was not a malicious intent by any means but still something that shouldn t have been done, said Aaron Howell, OSU Director of Business Affairs.

OSU sent out letters warning people about the security breach. They also recommended that those involved take advantage of free credit checks, as a precaution.

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